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…..
271 thoughts on “No Longer The Black Sheep”
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.
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.
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.
I am also learning the power of acceptance.
When we need something from others in a relationship it can be felt like a sticky glue and naturally enough people do not like this on them.
Not ‘needing something’ from others frees us up to see and experience them for who they are and not fulfill our expectations or judgments of how we think they should be, or would like them to be, in order to satisfy our needs.
Its a refreshing approach as when we are free, we can appreciate so much more of the qualities the other brings, the situation they are in.. it promotes an understanding that cannot help but be felt by the other.
And in doing so it establishes the foundation to establish harmony.
We notice the obvious favouritism towards boys in countries where extreme practices occur, such as dumping girl babies. Yet the energy is the same in the words of the Irish grandmother who stated, ‘look after the boy’. This consciousness of men being more valued than women is widespread. It will take for women to reclaim their own value and standards within themselves for equality to be restored. While we play less we continue to add to the problem.
And it is also for men to appreciate that by valuing men more than women, men equally loose out as they are then living a lie and therefore not being who they truly are.
The moment we open up to understand the other, to read why they behave a certain way we can also feel our love for them which is equally so for the love towards ourselves. Especially with regard to our parents, it has a huge impact on ourselves when we open our heart to them as it is equally to ourselves as mostly we carry the same issues which we didn’t want to embrace.
To accept yourself and to accept another that is key, and I’m reminded that it’s simply about coming back to how I relate to me, no blame, no need to judge another or myself but just a willingness to observe and let go.
So many live life in tension especially between family members, blaming everyone else for this, yet forever guarding ourselves when we are with them. This article clearly shows how we are the absolute centre of our lives and what we experience in relationship is a direct reflection of how we are in relationship. If we are closed and guarded, then so is everyone else. If we are open and accepting, then others also have the choice to gracefully join us.
Yes, our relationship with ourselves is the key to how we relate to, and with, others.
A great place to start with building our relationship with self is by connecting with ourself.
It is oh so true, our relationships with others do not change until our relationship with ourself does.
It’s amazing when we change the way we are with ourselves, the way we are with others also changes naturally.
Connecting to self is the way forward through all of our so called dilemmas. When I look at a situation in a odd way, it is always for me a stop point to say” Hey. what is going on here” and come back to myself with understanding and love.
Thank you J, I agree that as we allow true healing and understanding for ourselves so too can we then bring that to others, including our family. I can also relate to not being able to accept people because I wanted it / them to be different. But if we can accept things exactly as they are we can then come to an understanding of why it is and begin to see past the choices to the person underneath. Understanding is such a vital part of relationships.
I agree Melinda, understanding brings so much grace and opens up space for relationships to manoever, to explore and play with no perfection being asked for, and in which allows both to grow.
Lack of acceptance in life really can get in the way of us having truly loving relationships, and this is a great example of what can happen when we get our hurts out of the way. We start to see the people in our lives for who they are and accept where they are at.
I am discovering how very loving acceptance is – just to accept people for where they are. They feel this too and the holding of love and space in that acceptance.
We are all very different, and each of us brings a unique perspective, how beautiful when we are all fully accepted.
Working on one’s own ‘stuff’ is so important because it takes away the neediness we have of others to be a different way for us. When we’re looking for others or for another to confirm us, accept us and love us, there’s a constant seeking and demand for this within ourselves, and life can be very tumultuous as a result. Learning to give this unending love to and for ourselves brings much healing and harmony to ourselves and all of our relationships.
“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.” l remember how when l began truly changing my ways for less judgement and more loving behaviour, this miraculously took the sting out of my intensity with certain people in my life. Now my relationships with these people are more accepting and easy going. I looked at my own attitudes and took responsibility for my own judgmental behaviours. Now l see so much sweetness and innocence within others, unfolding more and more every time l reconnect with them. I’m so grateful for letting my grievances go.
“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.” When we can take responsibility to be as independent as possible, this allows us the pathway to self-empowerment. Sometimes we choose not to do this for fear of how much power we actually have.
In finding yourself J, you have been able to heal not only yourself, but as you mention, your family too. What a inspiring sharing!
This is such a beautiful story. I love how you have broken the ongoing cycle on inequality in your family. Never again does there need to be a repeat of that, unless of course someone chooses to start it up again. I love how your mother got to feel met for the first time in her life probably also. She would have just melted with relief as you confirmed to her that all she ever felt about herself wasn’t true, and that she was worthy of love. This learning to love yourself idea seems pretty damn powerful.
It’s easy to blame others for our woes and issues with life… but is it really that easy? It seems to cause more heart ache, more tension in relationships and more angst in the relationship with oneself when we hold another for ransom. Taking responsibility, even though it may seem daunting at the time, is much more freeing and unlocks the shackles that has been chained to the issue in the first place.
It is incredibly powerful when we accept and love another regardless the choices they are making. I am noticing the changes in my relationships too in my life and as I reflect the penny drops becoming aware that they are changing because of the letting go of judgement and loving them knowing who they truly are, a son of God.
Truly expansive and inspring Caroline, to know and feel that others are changing because we are giving them space to do so by accepting and holding them, (not needing them to be different) and never making them less.
It’s really amazing when we take responsibility and deal with our hurts without blaming others and bringing understanding to ourselves and others that life opens up. I’ve experienced this recently where I have been able to let go and accept people where they are and suddenly it was so much easier to communicate as I was just simply being with them and allowing them to be. Simple and yet magic and all because we decide to take care of our part.
An opening of awareness has allowed more of the world to be let in and a closer to the truth of brotherhood, one relationship and one life to be revealed. This is huge healing for everyone in the whole world.
Wow, that’s incredible. It would have been understandable if you chose to never actually deal with this and take the hurt you felt from your mother to your grave, leaving you to be what I can only imagine, a bitter and twisted old woman. BUT – you said no to that option, and you brought the spotlight back on you and how you are with yourself. It’s incredibly inspiring whats possible when we let go of expectations and accept ourselves as the wonderful people we are regardless of all that we may have experienced.
When we live from the truth of knowing who we are from the inside out, and no longer need anyone to be a certain way, we inspire others in our family to let go of the beliefs they have held too.
I have spoken to so many women who felt they were not wanted or fully appreciated by their parents as they were not a boy. It must be strong this sense of disappointment for a baby or toddler to be so aware of it without words. This is just the start of the many ways that women generally get the message that they are less valuable in society.
It has been very healing for me to read this blog and has reflected back to me how I still ‘look to others to have my needs met’ – and end up frustrated of course. Thank you J Mcfadden for sharing your evolution here and supporting us all to evolve in doing so.
This is an amazing turn-around and beautiful to read of the changes you have made in your life and how you are with everyone else as a result. I couldn’t agree more when you say that – “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.”
It’s true what you say here about judgement, when I’ve not judged myself I have been able to have conversations with my parents where they have not felt judged and opened up beyond imaginable. Additionally,if I hold them as “my parents” and have expectations of how they should be towards me, I know that these expectations are holding me back from developing the most loving relationship with them, however the question then is, am I prepared to change myself, change the way I perceive the world in order to make space for the love that I so crave?
‘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! ‘ This is so true. How many of us have had this feeling of not being enough? Not good enough, not clever enough, not fit enough? We really do create our own reality.. Bringing a focus to our own needs however seemingly small and taking care of them takes care of us and gradually those needs we have been putting out there for others to handle grow less and less.
I used to have huge expectation on my families and resented them for not meeting the high bar I set. All of my interactions confirmed my beliefs as everything was tainted because of my hurts and expectations. Drop all this and suddenly I am able to meet and see my family, each member for who they are. The expectations were blinding and kept me shut off from any sort of connection.
It’s incredible that when we make a deeper connection to ourselves and when we let go of needing others to be different just how relationships can blossom.
Yes, definitely – because it gives both ourselves and others the space to just be.
Such a beautiful and honest sharing Jacqueline, to learn to accept and appreciate ourselves is a huge step towards deepening the relationship with ourselves first. This love and acceptance naturally then flows onto to all our relationships healing any old hurts that are standing in the way of true connection with another – a great example of the power of love.
I used to call myself the black sleep of the family as I didn’t always fit in. What has been interesting is that I have been called the ‘blackie’ person (skin colour wise) in my family from a very young age but I knew I was the lightest inside but didn’t know how to deal with this label…..
Roll on a few years and since attending Serge Benhayon’s courses that label has no hold of me, you can call me black, white or pink, I know who I am underneath and thats what counts. Loving myself has turned many things around and from time to time I get it wrong but I know one thing, if it causes a reaction or an ouch, I know I am being offered another hurt that needs healing. I can honestly say that Serge Benhayon has made a difference in my life.
I love all you have shared Shushila especially your learning: ‘but I know one thing, if it causes a reaction or an ouch, I know I am being offered another hurt that needs healing’. Very wise and very true.
There are deep ingrained beliefs that have an enormous capacity to harm. And, yet, people with shut down bodies because of these very same traditions choose to uphold them. Beyond emotions, it is important to understand where these people come from, the quality of their bodies and that the only way to deal with such a level of accumulated hardness and separation is love.
Beautiful to reread this Jacqueline, and yes when our attitude changes toward ourselves our whole changes, thus the responsibility we have to self love.
But in truth, how simple is that? We know that we can’t change the world, but we can change ourselves, so why do we constantly try to change what we can’t and avoid changing what we can?
Love what you have shared Jacqueline so very powerful and inspiring, experiencing your own choices to self love and bringing that reflection to your family in acceptance and understanding. This paragraph ” 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….” wow what a ripple effect we bring to the world when we make the choice to love and heal ourselves.
Yes Jill a huge ripple effect – love has that impact and is life changing when we embrace it ( as opposed to resisting it).
A wonderful testamtent to you Jacqueline and how far you have come wiht the support of Universal Medicine, to be able to heal those old hurts and rebuild your relationship with your family. Amazing. This is very inspiring.
Understanding, reading, and just observing are all powerful tools, ‘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.’
Thank you Jacqueline. Your story reminds me how needy I was in the past and I agree, this neediness is very damaging in relationships. When we give ourselves what we need it is immensely empowering.
I love the detail you have gone to. I felt like I was in Ireland, I felt the love on that trip and the way you have finally been able to see your mother. I am slowly coming to realise that judgment is only possible when one holds judgement on themselves. This blog really is a gift as it can be applied to all any relationship, for the key message is understanding and deeper reflection.
I loved reading this blog again. It confirms what I have already learnt, and that is that when we make changes to the way we live, everything else changes. As I continue to give priority to the relationship I have with myself, the relationships I have with others also continue to develop and deepen.
This is a beautiful testimony of the healing that is presented by Universal Medicine in understanding the way things are and how we can choose to make changes to heal the hurts in ourselves and others.
True love is a holding of another where we allow space for them to be who they are. accepting their choices and just reflecting the truth of another way of living in connection to our soul.
Acceptance (or lack thereof) is huge for most of us, though we don’t get to understand this unless we undertake the kind of discovery that Universal Medicine offers us. I know I wouldn’t have understood my own lack of acceptance without this support as it’s all too easy to overlook, ignore, dismiss or not understand the the subtle energies at play within us.
One thing that I am learning more and more these days is that all of our relationships with others are like a mirror and are a reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves.
Not needing anything from others removes a huge burden that I am realising puts great pressure on a relationship. When this is removed space opens up for a deeper connection to others.
Thank you J. It’s clear to me that you broke the cycle perpetuated within your family when you chose to value yourself. We can kid ourselves and blame others when we are hurt all the while remaining blind to the fact that we play a central part in what is being reflected to us. When we take responsibility the world follows suit.
“When we begin to heal and love ourselves, our families automatically benefit because when you stop judging yourself, you stop judging others.” That is so true for me as it was my own experience too and therefore to stop judging oneself is the best medicine ever – if you don’t believe me – the best thing is to try it out for yourself . . .
It is living the true way of love and compassion, without believes that helps us move forward. Towards that which is a true union of humanity, Brotherhood.