No Longer The Black Sheep

by J McFadden, born in Scotland, living in the Netherlands

My trip to Scotland: it was the first time in as long as I could remember that I was looking forward to going – I always visited in the years past as a sense of duty. I would always come back (to Holland) in no hurry to visit Scotland again. My mother would always say something that would hurt me deeply – she always was an insensitive and cold woman in my eyes, and I can remember feeling the distance between us as a small child. I was the third girl in the family and also a twin; I had a twin brother who was the first son born.

My parents, being of Irish descent, grew up with the belief that boys were the most important – more important than girls. This is an old, old belief that is handed down from generation to generation in Ireland, or certainly it is in my family. I remember when my son and daughter were age three and five, my grandmother was leaving after a holiday in Scotland, and the very last words she said to me were – “look after the boy”. She said this to me as if it was the most natural thing to say. I was stunned at the time, but in no way then could I fully understand the enormity or significance of those four words, and for how many decades this belief had been handed down through the generations in our family.

Being the third girl in the family I grew up feeling not seen and not heard, so I stopped expressing, and I felt pretty much invisible while my twin brother got the ‘little king’ treatment. You can imagine the resentment I had towards my brother and the anger I had towards my mother. Since my childhood my mother and I have never been close, and have always had issues. And I could never express how I felt. Feeling un-connected in the family unit, I always felt like the ‘black sheep’.

So in August this year I went back to Scotland, back to my roots – and what a different trip it turned out to be. I had a lovely time with all my family, I had a lovely connection with my mother, for the first time ever, and I cannot tell you the incredible healing that it was for me. It was like she ‘saw me’ for the very first time, and maybe that was because I ‘saw her’ for the first time.

What happened? What changed? I had, of course. What made the huge difference was three things:

Firstly, I had found a new ‘connection’ to myself.

Secondly, I didn’t ‘need’ anything from my family at all. I wasn’t looking for acceptance or any form of recognition – I wanted to just ‘be’ with my family, enjoy them, accept them, connect with them and was not looking for anything in return. I have always been ‘needy’ and deeply insecure and looking to others to meet those needs. Looking to others to meet your needs, always, without fail, leads to let-downs and disappointments. Looking to others to have your needs met also carries the undertone that you are not enough to meet your own needs. And so you never are! So many years I have lived like this…

Thirdly, for the first time I accepted my family and my mother for who they are. My father passed a few years ago. I have always ‘needed’ them to be different, and many times wished for a different family. Both my parents were addicted to alcohol which meant a lot of drama and emotions as I was growing up. Both my parents could only ever express themselves through the drink – which meant a lot of shouting, a lot of yelling, name calling, and also who would have the last word. This way of communicating was the norm – and was something I took on.

I am guilty of blaming my mother for the struggles in my life, yet on this trip I saw that I did not judge or blame my mother for our past differences, or for her choices. She still smokes, she still enjoys her ‘daily tipple’ (her whisky) – but here’s the thing – I found that just accepting her as my mother, without the ‘baggage’, opened up the space between us and gave me a clear picture of her life. My mother was also a twin, she had a twin brother too. My grandmother, her mother, was the one who had said to me, “look after the boy”. This was the ‘aha!’ moment – everything made sense; my mother grew up under the same belief… and she had four brothers. I can only wonder at the difficult childhood she had with this belief operating in the family. With this new understanding of her life I could see how hard her life had been, and my heart opened to her as I could see past everything that was not really her. For the first time ever, I felt love for my mother.

Accepting people, Understanding them and Allowing people to have their choices without judging, is so very, very powerful, so liberating, and also empowering to oneself at the same time. My family felt my non-judgment, which allowed them to open up to me. And they did not judge me in my choices not to smoke and not to drink… so we could be together. The black sheep of the family had gone. The black sheep was replaced with a woman who for the first time was able to ACCEPT herself, and from that place of self-acceptance was able to slowly see that she is worthy of loving herself, of taking good care of herself and that she does count in this world. Her expression counts, and boys are not more important than girls. We are equal, we are all equal.

The transformation of the ‘black sheep’ of the family was because I attended courses by Serge Benhayon. His courses and presentations expose all the things we are not and have taken on, like the examples I have mentioned above. Serge presents another way to live, a way that develops a loving relationship with self first. When we begin to heal and love ourselves, our families automatically benefit because when you stop judging yourself, you stop judging others. When you understand and accept yourself, you can understand and accept others; and when you are honest, open and loving with yourself, and with others, it allows people to be honest, open and loving back. So developing a loving relationship with self first, is developing a loving relationship with everyone, because you bring your ‘loving self ’to your family and to all your relationships. Everyone benefits.

I feel the full circle of life is that we live, we die, we come back and we do it all over again…with each generation passing beliefs down to the next as previously shown, and round and round in circles we go. It only takes one person to break the chain; and so I see that I do not pass on the belief that ‘boys are more important than girls’, and I do not pass the ‘inability to express’ on to my children and my grandson and his children, and the children of his children etc. To me it feels like the ‘inability to express’ has been deeply ingrained in our family for a long time and has caused so much pain and suffering on so many levels; now it is starting to be exposed, it is starting to heal for me.

In healing myself, in loving myself to the best of my ability it benefits ALL my family, the ones living and the ones on the other side. Then multiply this by the 2000 or so people who have attended the courses, and their families…..

262 thoughts on “No Longer The Black Sheep

  1. “What happened? What changed? I had, of course.” The simple magic of the teachings of Universal Medicine.

  2. This blog couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for me, as I am about to go on my yearly visit to see my elderly parents living overseas. I kind of dread visiting them as they are needy and blame everyone else for their ailments.

    I too have been the ‘black sheep’ of the family and I can now see the dynamics of the play. The ‘black sheep’ of the family, ostracised etc. and went into the dutiful daughter, caring for them when I lived in the UK. Now living in Australia, the distance separated many things, beliefs, customs, traditions, duties etc.

    At the end of the day the choice is ultimately mine, in how I receive or perceive what they present every time I visit. The key is the understanding of traditions, duties etc. were passed on to them too and they don’t know how to get out of this cycle, yet.

  3. This is a great example of how taking responsibility for ourselves is ultimately what frees us. We could carry through all our hurts in our life believing there is someone to be blame, but that would need us constantly feeding the toxic tendril in-between, and while we are at it, we are interrupting the absolute gorgeousness of ourselves that could otherwise be expressed and felt freely.

  4. Tangible evidence that when we heal our hurts and past and love ourselves more deeply this affects all around us including our relationships. Really beautifull to hear how your relationships with your family have changed.

  5. I was considered to be the ‘black’ sheep of our family as a young child because I struggled to conform to the demands of my parents which put me at loggerheads with them. Today I am very much an accepted part of my family I am accepted and appreciated for who I am at last.

  6. It’s a lovely read sharing in the cycle you have moved through to heal so much, and to open up to your family relationships in a loving and non-judgemental way. Family relationships can be painful because we are often unable to see the bigger picture of others lives and why they are as they are. I agree that healing ourselves first, and learning to live from the love within ourselves takes the pressure off needing that love from others and all the subsequent disappointments. We are then more free to just be with people.

  7. I love how you write from your heart J McFadden, I can relate to everything you have written. I was born into a family that had the belief that boys were everything and girls were not to be seen. So I was always looking to be seen and heard which was an impossibility and as you correctly said the negative out play is that when you look to others to meet your needs, always, without fail this leads to let-downs and disappointments because no one can ever fill us with what is missing from our lives which is actually our own love that resides within us.

    1. Mary your comment is awesome, ‘boys are everything and girls were not to be seen’. I too relate to your comment, looking to others to maybe fill that missing gap, when that gap can be filled by oneself. Loving oneself first is all it takes to addressing the beginning of our woes, it is that simple.

  8. Such a simple 3 step process to so many situations – connect to yourself, don’t need an outcome or for something to be a particular way, and accept others for who they are and where they are at, no judgement.

  9. The transformation is huge. We inspire people in ways we are unaware of, every single human being has an impact on others – in the way we treat them or in what they see in us. We don’t even have to speak sometimes for others to feel a different quality, a quality which cannot be a put-on, something which is lived and developed only through a commitment to love.

  10. Love the fact that when we accept ourselves for who we really are we can do the same for others, the benefits by making this choice is huge. Many families are being enriched thanks Universal Medicine and the work we are making here together. How wonderful is that.

    1. So true Matts. When we can let go of our past hurts, however old and deep they may be, it opens so many doorways for others. Once judgment is out of the way, we simply dont know what else is possible.

    2. One thing we are always part of is cycles, and we can change those cycles considerably with our love and self healing so the negativity in families doesn’t keep perpetuating. We can then establish cycles of ever deepening love and joy, and yes it’s possible.

  11. ‘To me it feels like the ‘inability to express’ has been deeply ingrained in our family for a long time and has caused so much pain and suffering on so many levels;’ This is certainly true for me too. When we really start healing these behaviour patterns so much comes up for us to clear. It can feel daunting and the temptation is to go back into old familiar ways to stay seemingly safe, to not rock the boat etc but this only limits our advancement, so to speak, and holds us all back from being and living the true love that we are.

  12. This is a beautiful blog showing that once we heal ourselves we have a profound effect on others – and even then there is more to become aware of and that can even be much more.

  13. What you shared here is such a powerful example of how we can evolve through reflection of each other’s living ways- it is so much easier to go through life without the usual judgement and non-acceptance of other people, blaming them for all your problems, and once we have built that acceptance in ourselves this can be expressed so naturally to heal many relationships that never had these qualities in them in the past.

  14. “When we begin to heal and love ourselves, our families automatically benefit because when you stop judging yourself, you stop judging others.” – this feels like a core truth shared by the author of this great blog, and is powerful to feel how every choice and awareness/understanding we gain for ourselves, has an energetic effect by allowing others we are connected with directly and indirectly, to make the same choices without having to even say a word to them. Just by holding them with no judgement can completely transform a relationship in a positive way.

    1. When we feel less of a need to judge ourselves it seems natural to judge others less as well. It seems to simply happen.

    2. ‘Just by holding them with no judgement can completely transform a relationship in a positive way’, and all parties in relationship positively and significantly benefit as well as expand and evolve.

  15. The harm that some deep held beliefs can produce is simply enormous. The denial of the beauty of women and the crop of lack of self-worth is way too heavy a backpack they end up carrying. The irony is that not even men benefit from this.

  16. If we dare to drop the roles that we have been identified with in life which provide us with approval and recognition, patiently waiting re-connection is our innermost.

  17. With the rates of domestic violence and abuse sky rocketing at the moment, what is shared in this article is absolute gold for us all.

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