A paradigm is a set of beliefs that we operate our lives through.  It is a set of beliefs, patterns or habits that we filter everything in our lives.  A paradigm shift is when we choose to change.  The second, often unseen, part of a paradigm shift is how other people in your life respond to your changes.

In 1990, I made a major paradigm shift.  I stopped drinking.  I went into counseling, and reclaimed my inner child.  I changed.  My family did not change.  I didn’t fit in any more.  I didn’t partake in the negativity that permeated the culture of my family of origin, or the normalcy of addiction.  It didn’t have a place in my life anymore, and I couldn’t go back to the old patterns.

I had always felt like an outsider, but this change severed any remaining attachments between them and me.  We had nothing in common anymore.  I didn’t realize that when I was going through the process, that it would result in this “change.”

I think the part that hurt was when my younger brother went into in-patient treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction a couple of years later, and the entire family rallied around him.  They visited him all the time.  Looking back, I wonder if they were there so that he would overcome the addictions, or to keep him in the family fold.  I guess only they would know their own motives, and I am not going to speculate.

Now, changing paradigms changes how one interact with the world, and people in their life.  When one changes, the people in their life have to change too.  Sometimes, one shifts or changes so much, that everything changes in the life (including friends and family).  As one experiences personal growth, one can and often does out-grow their current group of friends, jobs, and more.

So, do I regret changing?  No.  Sometimes, I do miss talking to my sister.  We used to have a lot in common from a spiritual perspective, but I don’t know anymore.  After my mom died, the family came closer together, then drifted further apart.  For me, it’s not hard to forgive individuals for their actions during the time of mom’s illness, but it can be challenging to get the scared, angry and/or threatening pictures out of my head. . .

Love & Light to All. . .Karen

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