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Your Mental Health Amid Changes in Traditions: Radical Acceptance

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Written By Kristin Kallas, MFT

With our current reality in this Covid-Post-Covid period, there is a significant shift in our homes for families, couples, and relationships in our communities. Over generations as a community, we grew up with our families in the same geographical regions. We were expected to marry, have children, and gain employment in the same town as our ancestors. Families grew more prominent, but they never truly left the nest.

As generations of renegades emerged over time, the Western Culture shifted with changes such as the Women’s Movement, Equal Rights Amendment, and #METOO movement. Offspring started to move away and seek higher experiences. It became customary for children to move away from home, go to college, travel, marry, and settle down in an entirely new part of the country.

Changes in traditions such as this, may be referred to as Radical Acceptance. Radical acceptance occurs when one makes an active choice requiring inner commitment to accept reality, and not fight what is. Making a more profound choice from within allows us to be independent from the responsibility of pleasing other people in our lives. A child growing up and moving away from family, gives that person the chance to experience the world differently, and elevate their own experiences. 

The widespread impact of the Covid pandemic means many families are now living back under the same roof, and may not necessarily think alike anymore. Most likely, families never did think 100% alike, and moving away allowed each person to be more authentic with their way of living, and thinking.

Living together again, we may now feel the pressure to sink back into other’s ways of doing things, ultimately putting us in a place of self-sacrifice. One may think “I would never do this in my own adult life!”, but, being back in the nest, we may feel forced to do things the “family” way, because we do not want to upset anyone or feel judged for doing things differently.

This is what we call the balancing of enrichment of culture, and habitual friction. When things are just not stacking up, how do you maintain your sense of self, and keep a “happy home”? Habitual friction comes with preserving the family values, traditions, expectations, religious practices, or educational standards; “the link between ancestors and prosperity”. For years, it has functioned as a commonly misunderstood way of living. 

Family relationships, especially this day in age, can be difficult to manage, and may cause stress or anxiety in the home. Practicing radical acceptance can help! Counseling provides a great way to learn how to manage new ways of thinking, and traditional family habits. Reach out to Counseling Works today!

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