Family and Cultural Scripts

Family Photo Christmas 2011“Dear, don’t leave the laundry there!” – and at that very moment I heard the voice of my mother talking to my father. Isn’t it weird how we’ve always thought that this was our voice… but is it really like this?

And how many of us could claim to be the true authors of the above. Aren’t we all the branches and the fruits of one and the same tree back in the family yard?

When you were born into your family, you were presented with your script for life. The script is the programming you undergo that defines how your life will be lived out—it’s not much different from a computer program, really. It contains the set of instructions for how to be a girl or a boy, a son or a daughter, a woman or a man, a wife or a husband, a parent, or even a member of your family, workplace, or your community.

Your script contains the values, beliefs, and attitudes that will flavour everything you think, say, and do in your life until, as you choose, to replace it.Your script’s values, beliefs, and attitudes in turn reflect your fundamental needs: your physical, safety, feeling, love and belonging, and spiritual needs.

So, just as an actor on stage works from a script, so do you. The only difference is that his is already written; yours was probably given to you in some unwritten form such as through your parent’s words or actions. Most of us do not even realize that we accept and live out our scripts without any conscious knowledge of what we are doing.

Some years ago, I went back to the country of my heritage to meet family that I had not met before. My parents and elder siblings migrated from the Netherlands to Australia before I was born, so I had never met any of my Dutch relatives. I never met my grandparents, and on only one occasion did an aunt come to visit us as I was growing up.

When I was introduced to these unknown relatives for the first time, I was struck by something that seemed to bind us in a way that was crazier than just having the same last name. Now I was meeting people who not only had the same last name, they used their voices just like I did and used body gestures just like mine.

I immediately felt an incredible connection with these people that was so much more than a name. I simply found it amazing. It felt like I could’ve been seeing a reflection of myself in a mirror.

Looking through the window, I see clearly the branches of the tree in the family yard dancing with the wind. Let me refer to a metaphorin order to express how filled I am with admiration for the strength of Nature on us as humans.No matter how strong each leaf or even an entire branchsways in the wind,they all reach as one whole and they all have the same conduct. They are all a part of the tree. Whatever life offers us, we will always stick to the same scenario forwarded by our family and coded deep inside our genes.

Write to me and share with me about the times you have found yourselves down on your knees at the roots of your Tree of Life, and about the time you have searched for similarities and answers deep, deep inside its honourable wisdom.

To the wonder of you,





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