Do you have a family that encourages you to create whatever you desire in life?
Or do they push their points of view about what they have decided is valuable and what they think your life should look like?
Do you have a family that cheers you on and celebrates your successes? Or do they often find ways to put you down? Do you have a family that encourages you to choose what works for you and your life? Or, do you have a family that judges you and your choices as a means of trying to control you?
While there are some functional families in the world, there is no shortage of dysfunctional ones. But, what if, no matter how much insanity there may be in your family, you did not have to be affected by it? In fact, what if you could handle even the most difficult family members with ease?
You can and the way to get there is through allowance.
What is Allowance?
The definition of allowance is simple: be willing to live your life with its ups and downs, highs, and lows, without judgment. Period. No rulebook.
Total allowance is just a choice and no matter what anyone is thinking, doing, or being, you can choose to be in allowance of it. No matter what is occurring in your life right now, you can choose to be in allowance of that too. It’s all just an interesting point of view.
Points of view are powerful things. Each point of view you have is creating your life. If you have the point of view that you must work hard for money, you will ensure that you work hard for every dollar you earn. If you have the point of view that your kids should do what they are told without question, when they don’t do what you tell them to, then you will be reactive toward them, whether internally or externally.
Points of view are like the game of tug of war. Each point of view you have requires a tug and a pull on the other side of the rope, which keeps the conflict going. All it takes to end the game of tug of war is to drop your side of the rope. Seeing all points of view as simply interesting rather than real and true is how you drop the rope.
Tool #1: Ask Questions and Let Go of Points of View
How do you get to allowance? How do you take points of view that are strong for you and let them go? Using the tool of “Interesting point of view” can assist quickly. For every point of view that you notice, say to yourself, “Interesting point of view, I have that point of view.” Or “Interesting point of view, they have that point of view.” Keep saying this until you feel happier and lighter. What is occurring is that you are unlocking everything you have bought as real and true. This causes your points of view to lose their significance and to become flexible again. You no longer must be right, and when you no longer have to be right, you get to be free.
As an example, a dad tells his son, who is playing games on his phone, to haul out the trash. The son says, “Okay” but doesn’t move. In a few minutes, the dad says once again, “Would you please haul out the trash?” “Sure, Dad, I said I would.” Another five minutes goes by and finally, the dad has had it! “I told you to haul out the trash! Put down that game or I’ll take that phone away and you won’t be playing anymore! Now get moving!”
Reacting to a situation is an indicator that there are points of view present. Allowance in this situation could look something like this: dad pauses and asks himself, “What judgments do I have about my son that are precipitating this episode?”
Questions always give us awareness, so after asking the question, dad may discover this point of view: “Children should always obey their parents immediately, and if they don’t it means I’m a weak or bad parent.”
This is where “interesting point of view” comes in. Dad says to himself, “It’s an interesting point of view that I feel that he is challenging my power. It’s an interesting point of view that I have in me a need to be in control and have power.” Then, without judging himself as a bad parent, or a weakling, or as the king of his realm, the dad can change the tenor of the discussion, get the trash hauled, and nobody’s feathers get ruffled. He might ask the question out loud, “What would it take to have you do your job and haul the trash right now without a confrontation?” The son’s reaction will be considerably different.
Tool #2: Allowance for Yourself
Allowance of yourself is knowing that you’re going to be everything you are whether anybody likes it or not! When you choose to be in allowance of yourself, you begin to free yourself from the judgments that you have been using to limit you, whether those judgments are yours or anyone else’s.
A tool that you can use to assist with choosing allowance for yourself is to write down a list of all the things you think are the worst things about you, then write down all the things you think are the best things about you. Look at both lists and ask, “What judgments do I have to have to keep these points of view in existence?” Because it is guaranteed that both the “best” and “worst” things are based on judgments you have that you haven’t yet acknowledged. Now, pull out tool #1: Interesting Point of View.
When you have allowance for yourself, you won’t have to judge what’s best for you or anyone else. You can simply say, “Okay, this is what I am.” If someone doesn’t like what you have chosen, that could be filed under “interesting point of view.”
Tool #3: Detach from the Family Judgements
Detaching from the litany of judgments that were handed down from parent to child is necessary to become aware of what is happening in the present and go into allowance. You do not need to work yourself into an early grave because your grandfather was a hard worker. You are free to choose the work life you desire because the determining factor will not be the family’s belief in grandpa’s point of view.
Think about the points of view your family was functioning from. Have you been aligning and agreeing with or resisting and reacting to any of those points of view?
Allowance can be a pragmatic way to be aware of the workings of your family and to open the door for possibilities you may never have considered. But remember, when you give yourself the gift of allowance, this does not mean you have to simply accept everyone’s insanity. It is, rather, what allows you to know where people are functioning from and to use that awareness to create something else.
When it comes to having ease in dealing with your family, allowance is key. Allowance is a choice that creates a way to outstrip anyone or anything that wants to confine you, define you, or contain you—including your family. You need never be contained by anybody. Never be stopped. You are in allowance; you are always free to create greater possibilities in your life including ease with your family.