Several days ago I came across THIS TikTok video by creator The Black Shea. She was commenting on the docuseries Harry and Meghan, saying that in her opinion, Harry is trying to do for Meghan what he could not do for his mother, Princess Diana. I agree with this opinion, and not only that, but it got me thinking about people trying to heal generational “curses” in their families and lives. 

While I don’t love the term “generational curse”– maybe we can call it “generational dysfunction” – I do think many of you are doing this type of work, whether you know it or not. Seeing patterns in your families and trying to heal them by digging into your own personal work and stopping those patterns. This minisode talks about a few things you can do while you’re on that journey.

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You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast minisode number 502.

Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you're here. Hey, in case you missed it, I sent out a couple of emails that I offer book consulting. What that means is if you want to write a book, if it's been one of those bucket list things that you've always had, I might be able to help. So the link will be in the show notes, AndreaOwen.com/nonfiction and the page is there that tells you everything that I can offer you and maybe we can set up a quick call to see if it's a good fit.

Alright, let's jump into today's minisode, which I'm super excited to talk about. And I'm just kind of riffing here based on some inspiration that I got from a Ted Talk that I saw, because you know, you guys know that I love that that social media platform. And there was a creator called the Black Shea and she was commenting on the Docuseries, Megan and Harry. Or is it Harry and Megan? I don't remember. Have you seen it? I believe it's on Hulu. And it's really great. I've always reall… I don't follow the royal family religiously, but I've always been intrigued by this particular relationship. It's just fascinating. I did watch the crown. And of course, in 1987 was devastated when Princess Diana tragically died. But the whole thing is kind of fascinating from like, just a human behavior standpoint, and family dysfunction. Family dysfunction standpoint. That family is fascinating. So the Black Shea on Twitter was talking about how in her opinion, Harry is trying to do for Megan what he could not do for his mother Princess Diana. He could not protect his mother from the media, he could not… You know, and it's maybe it's like a little bit of mommy issues type of thing, which is understandable. His mother was tragically killed when he was 12 years old. And he's lived in this very public life and lots of trauma with the paparazzi and the media scrutiny and the rules around the monarchy and what he can and cannot do, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. You know, even though they have privilege beyond what most of us have, they still have their stuff. They still have their trauma. And so I thought it was interesting, and I agree with this creator.

And also it really got me thinking about generational curses. And I really don't like that term. So can we change it to instead of talking about breaking generational curses, let's call it breaking generational dysfunction, or healing from generational dysfunction, generational patterns that we no longer want to carry on in our legacy. And I think many of you might be doing that type of work as you're going about your personal development work. And what that looks like specifically is when you see patterns in your family of origin, you know, whether it's with your parents, your grandparents, your siblings that you find hurtful or unhelpful, dysfunctional, whatever you want to call it, and you don't want to do that anymore. Whether or not you have children, it doesn't matter. I know a lot of you are child free and so maybe it's you wherever you are going to stop this pattern or you are going to be this influence on any niece and nephew that you have or even any really any young person that it's helpful for you to influence them. And what does that look like? You know, what does that actually mean? And I love to kind of take a few steps back and look at the process of particular things if you will or have a better word for it to different wounds, circumstances that we're trying to heal. So I jotted down a few things that I think might be helpful for you. If you are somebody who either just is interested in the topic or also likes to kind of pinpoint what it might look like when you're doing that specific work.

So the first one might be a little bit obvious and that is paying attention and seeing the patterns that that you don't like. That you find are not in alignment with the person that you want to be. They're not in alignment with the kind of values that you want to be in alignment and honor in your life. So it's paying attention and then deciphering and being specific about what it is that you don't want. What are those behaviors anymore. So some of the more obvious ones might be things like addiction. Those are things that that many of us see in our lives, and some of us, myself included, find ourselves going down that path. Maybe if we even swore that we would never do that, I'm never going to end up like my mom, I'm never gonna end up like my dad and have a problem with my relationship with alcohol or drugs or whatever it is and then we find ourselves in that position. So it's about pinpointing what those things are. So addiction is one example.

Another example might be codependence, poor boundaries. I have a really great podcast episode coming up within the next couple of months with Terry Cole, who has been here on the show several times before, but we're talking specifically about high functioning codependence. So make sure you stay tuned for that. But maybe that's one of the things that you have really seen perhaps in your mother. The over controlling the meddling the micromanaging, and you want to have better boundaries, which is a whole thing in and of itself. Maybe boundaries, emotional boundaries might be something that was just not happening in your family of origin. It  might be even things like maybe it was spanking or yelling, or just the emotional dysregulation that may have happened in your family that was traumatic for you, and you don't want anything to do with it anymore. And I want to repeat that, again, many times, many times, even if it's something that we see in our family of origin that we never want to repeat again, we know it is terrible, we know it was hurtful, we know it's dysfunctional. We find ourselves doing it. And I want to just pause right here and say that you're normal. Many times these things are unconscious, they are embedded, and long before we even know that it's a problem. Embedded when we are children, these patterns, and it's no wonder we act them out again, because it's what we know. So have some compassion for yourself if you are someone who wants to end the cycle and break the pattern, but you haven't yet but you still find yourself engaging in it. Okay? You know, maybe it's maybe something not so egregious and maybe it's something.

I know, this was a thing in my dad's side of the family, where no one really kept in touch all that well. I grew up in San Diego and my grandmother, and my two uncles, my dad's brothers, we're in Los Angeles. It is not that far. It was about a two hour drive. And we rarely saw them. We rarely saw them. It was once every few years, which now I look back at that and I'm thinking that's just odd. It's odd that we lived that close and so very rarely saw each other. And I know that that side of the family, there was dysfunction that I didn't even know about growing up. Something I learned about later. But it was a pattern I think in that family and that is something that I didn't want in my family. So maybe that's yours. Maybe you grew up in a family that was barely ever saw each other you never met your cousins or something like that, and you want that to change or it could have been the opposite. Maybe it was too much interaction. Maybe you felt like you never had time alone and everything was enmeshed and everyone knew each other's business. And there weren't a lot of boundaries in terms of, you know, physical boundaries, you wanted time alone and you never got it. Maybe that's a pattern that that you want to change just to be able to set some boundaries. Boundaries is a theme. I've said that word like 17 times in these few short minutes I've been talking, but that's on my list because it's a topic that comes up so much on the podcast and so much in my books and in my work and in my own personal work. We don't know how to set boundaries. It's not inherent to us. It certainly is not something that is commonly taught in households. I always say like unless you were raised by a therapist or two, and even then it probably wasn't perfect. So boundaries is something that we need to learn as we get older. and it is not easy. It is not easy work to learn about the communication that goes into boundary setting, it's not easy work to stand by your boundaries once you have set one. So just wanted to, you know, let you off the hook a little bit and that and that is incredibly common work and families but also complicated. Families are complicated. Isn't that what I always say? Families are super complicated. Maybe it's a pattern of infidelity. Isn't there research out that talks about this? How, I don't know if the jury's still out, and if research shows different things I don't know do not quote me but I feel like there's research that shows that infidelity might run in your DNA and maybe it's something that tore your family apart growing up, and it's something that you definitely don't want to repeat. It's a generational dysfunction that you want to end.

I just want to pause for a minute, a little side note. I have so much hope. I know I've mentioned this several times on the podcast, and I was just being interviewed this morning and I mentioned it again, I have so much hope for Generation Z and generation alpha, which are the youngins right now, in terms of personal growth, their own personal growth and things like boundary setting and self-compassion and rest and these things that have been taboo over generations, like the way I look at it is that for silent generation, which is my parents generation, and then for baby boomers, therapy, and personal growth was taboo. I think for many people, even if they wanted to go and see someone, it was not something that was encouraged or looked at as a sign of strength, it was looked at as a as a sign of weakness, I think in most families for those generations. I think for Generation X, we quietly went to therapy. We were so tired and so worn down coming off the heels of our feral childhoods, we couldn't take any more and we quietly into therapy, and talked about it in hushed tones, and many times in secret. And Millennials thank God have normalized it. And you know, as Gen X and Millennials have become parents, our Generation Z and Gen Alpha children will know and understand therapy, as it almost being the opposite of Silent Generation of Baby Boomers where it's like, you're kind of weird if you don't go to therapy, or if you think therapy is dumb, you know, you're not kind of within the norm quote unquote. And I, as someone who's in the personal development industry, this makes me so excited and so happy that things are definitely changing. And that conversations around boundaries and breaking these generational dysfunctions are normal. And I always want to throw in there, this is not to blame and shame our parents. It's really not. They didn't know any different. They, I believe that they did the best they could. And if they had had the tools, and if personal growth and boundaries, and even psychiatry, and therapy were normal, I do think things would have been different for them. And it just wasn't part of the culture. So things are changing.

So I'll give you a few examples of some patterns of dysfunction that you might be wanting to change. And I want to just add a couple more things. One, many times, it is a lifelong process. You might see some progress, and then have some setbacks, and see some more progress. And again, it's that three steps forward two steps back type of dance that we do. Number two, have so much patience and compassion for yourself and your other family members. So much patience and compassion. And then the last thing I want to say, which I wonder if it's a question that you might be thinking about as you listen to this is, you know, do I have to tell my family, especially my parents, that I'm doing this work. No, you don't. You don't owe that to anyone. I'm sure that as you start setting boundaries people are going to start to understand and see what you're doing. I find that a lot of people do end up talking to their siblings about it but not necessarily your parents. Especially if it doesn't feel safe. If it feels safe, by all means knock yourself out. But I don't think that you owe it to anyone to talk about what you're doing in your personal life, let alone your personal development journey and like what you're talking about in therapy and the goals that you have. You don't. And some people will, will push back, when they see you setting boundaries, when they see that you aren't maybe no longer engaging in, let's say, family gossip. Maybe that's one of the patterns that you want to break where you, you find that when you get together with your siblings, or your cousins that all you do is talk shit about particular family members and maybe that doesn't feel right to you, and you just don't want to do it anymore. And just makes you feel crappy. And these siblings or cousins are questioning like, why how come you don't, you know, join us in the backyard anymore at Thanksgiving to have our annual trash talk or whatever. And it can be as simple as it just doesn't feel great to me anymore and you guys can go ahead and do it without me. But if you want to talk about something else, I'm more than happy to join you. You don't have to go in depth and tell them like, well, this is a generational curse that I'm trying to break. And it doesn't honor my values. And you can if you want but it just again, you don't owe that to anyone simple is enough. Even just a flat out no, no thanks, is also enough. Sometimes this can be painful, because you know, there's that community that we have created with certain people in certain patterns. And then when we break that it's painful, and can feel like we're losing something. And in essence we are. But ask yourself, like, what am I gaining in the process of breaking these patterns? What am I gaining? I’m gaining hopefully a legacy that's different. A sort of like, this ends with me. This ends with us. You're gaining self-trust, you're gaining the insight and the wisdom of listening to your intuition, you're gaining, just honoring who you want to be the woman that you want to be. So there's a lot there's a lot to gain. I find there's a lot to gain.

So hope you enjoyed this minisode. Tell your friends about the podcast. I would so appreciate it if you did. And remember, don't forget, make sure you remember it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.

Hey, did you know there's free secret podcast episodes waiting for you that are not part of my regular podcast feed? Yes. AndreaOwen.com/free and you just sign up. You get a link sent to you. It's very secret. It's like a secret club. We don't have a secret handshake. Don't worry about that. But it's these motivating podcast episodes that I made for you. They're under 20 minutes each. There's three of them there for wherever you are in your life. So head on over there and grab them. They range from really supporting you and seeing you where you are and being compassionate all the way to giving you a giant kicking your ass and telling you how amazing and gorgeous and phenomenal you are. So AndreaOwen.com/free and get your hands on that free podcast feed.