Our self-help columnist Athena Laz is a qualified psychologist and the creator of the self-help programme Own Your Inner Power. She works with women worldwide, helping them to reclaim their lives and their ability to feel good. You can see her work here.
#AskAthena: I Don’t Want to End up Alone like All the Women in My Family. Help!
I’ve recognised a pattern in my family history, particularly with the women in my family. For generations the women in my family have suffered. Their husbands have either died really early or their marriages (mostly arranged) were terrible and lonely. None of them have ever really created wealth for themselves and they were always dependent in some way or another. I read your blog often and because of it, I can see that their stories (and the beliefs that go with them) have been passed down to me. On some level, I’m always expecting to end up alone and I don’t want this. I want this to end with me. Currently, I’m single and in a job which I should get paid more for doing. What can I do? This just feels so unfair?
I know that this must be a particularly challenging experience to go through, so just know that you can heal any pattern (even an ancestral one) through awareness, forgiveness and aligned action. There is also a hidden gift in your current circumstances. The women who have come before you may have never been given the opportunity to change their circumstances but you have. You have the opportunity to choose. You also have enough awareness to recognise that you are in a pattern – which is really half the battle. So part of stepping out of this pattern is by honouring it, forgiving it and believing that you can experience something new.
When you re-write your future, you begin to move from a place of victimhood to a place of empowerment.
You do this re-writing through learning about the specific beliefs that are influencing you and interrupting them in the present moment. (The quickest way to do this is through working one-on-one). For example, what are your beliefs around your current job? You write that your employers should be paying you more but are not. Why is this and what can you do about it? If your immediate answer is ‘nothing’- then perhaps (and this is just an example) the action to take is to work towards better employment. My point is that you are not stuck in a one-directional relationship in which things are happening to you. You can decide what you are willing to tolerate, what you need to work towards long-term and what needs to be altered immediately. Lastly, it may be helpful to take a moment to think about what your matriarchal strengths are. What are the amazing gifts, qualities and talents that your female lineage has offered you? You’ll know the answer.
You can follow Athena on Instagram here and see more of her work at Athenalaz.com. You can also receive her free video course, designed to help you develop positive self-talk! If you have a question for Athena, e-mail her here.
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