Who is the Black Sheep of Your Family?

In families and in relationships, we carry each other’s shadow sides, usually without being aware that this is happening. We are convinced that the other person is what we are not. Meanwhile ALL energy is in all of us, we have just disowned and pushed away a certain part of us. The energy we push away is the one we are uncomfortable with, or afraid of, or have learned is “bad” to be. However, energy has to go somewhere. If I push it away, it might either “go underground” and wait inside of me to take over when I am not paying attention; otherwise, another person takes it on for me.

Children carry our disowned shadow parts beautifully. My children have certainly been great mirrors for myself over the years. A parent might for example be punctual and responsible and the child is always late and seemingly irresponsible. The more the parent harps on the child for being irresponsible because they hate that energy potential in themselves, the more the child will be polarized into it.

messy child's room

This week, I have come across parents who are very neat and have made their daughter and her room the joke for every guest coming for a visit because she is “just so messy”. They have disowned their own sloppiness and the daughter has taken it on. They are so afraid of that energy potential in themselves that they feel the need to clearly distance themselves from it. Outside themselves they can laugh at it and make it clear to anybody who wants to hear it, or not, that their daughter does not take after them. They don’t just rob her from living in a tidier environment by labelling her as “unbelievably messy” and “incapable of being tidy” but they also deny themselves to be more relaxed and to live in the moment.


black sheep

Many families have a “black sheep”. The Black Sheep is the person who is carrying all the shadow characteristics for the other family members. The Black Sheep has taken on the energy that all the others are pushing away and don’t want. The Black Sheep might be rude and outspoken, or perhaps unreliable and self-centred, or messy and constantly late, or addicted and a “failure”, or perhaps all of the above and more; the list goes on and on. The Black Sheep of the family is the one who displays everything that everybody else judges and suppresses without being aware that all energy is in all of us.

Are you the Black Sheep of your family? Or do you have a Black Sheep in your family? You have the ability to change these dynamics at any time by doing some shadow work to reclaim your disowned selves.

If you want to integrate the parts you have disowned to live more conscious non-judgmental relationships contact me for a free phone consultation.




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Half Your Parent

A friend of mine made an interesting remark a few days ago. Being divorced and having co-parented with not just one, but two ex-partners, she said the key piece for her was to never-ever, under any circumstances, speak negatively about the other parent to the children. Now, we have all heard this before and might think that is a nice ideal. However, we assume that if we cannot keep our perspective of the other parent to ourselves it is not a big deal either. Is that really true?

parents & child

My friend’s reasoning for why this was the key piece of healthy co-parenting to her should convince anybody. A child usually feels they are “half their parent”. We are taught to believe that we have inherited some characteristics and character traits from one parent, some from the other. Very often we are told things like “You have your father’s smile” or “You have your mother’s sensitivity”. Very often we even hear “You are so much like your father/mother”.

When you really watch a child closely as somebody is speaking in a dismissive or derogative manner about one of his/her parents, you can feel sadness and shame or even anger. If we believe we are half of each parent and are being told that the other parent is bad in some way, is not enough, is too this or too that, we learn to also feel that we are not enough. We believe we must also be flawed.

Not speaking in a derogative manner about the other parent is therefore not about the ex-partner at all, not about who has hurt whom, but solely a gift I can give my child to feel good about her- or himself.

With that knowing in mind, can we even perhaps take it a step further and speak in an affirmative and positive fashion about the other parent? No matter what we think about him or her, can we focus on their good side and point those strengths and admirable personality traits out to the children? Surely there is something we can say about the person we used to love and live with which will teach our child that they are amazing.

So next time you are about to say with rolled eyes and an exasperated sigh, “You are just like your mother/father” bite your tongue and think of something good to say about the other parent and ultimately about your own child.


Relationship and Belief Change Coaching, Forgiveness and Letting Go