While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across a post that made me catch my breath in the most unexpected way. It was just a simple video of a man in the woods talking about his favorite description of the “black sheep and family.”
It is as follows:
“The so-called Black Sheep in the family are, in fact, seekers of liberation roads for the family tree.
Those members of the tree who do not adapt to the rules or traditions of the family system, those who are constantly seeking to revolutionize beliefs going in contrast to the roads marked by family traditions, those criticized, tried, and even rejected.
They are called to release the tree of repetitive stories that frustrate entire generations.
The Black Sheep, those who do not adapt, those who scream, rebel, repair, and detoxify, create a new and blooming branch.
Countless unfulfilled desires, unfulfilled dreams and frustrated talents of our ancestors manifest themselves in the Black Sheep’s rebellion looking to take place.
The family tree by inertia will want to continue to maintain the castrating and toxic course of its trunk which makes the Black Sheep’s task difficult and conflicting.
Let no one make you doubt, take care of your rarity as the most precious flower of your tree.
You are the dream of all of your ancestors. “
- Bert Hellinger
I have never heard the idea put so beautifully. It is hopeful and profound. It brings me to tears. I don’t know how many of you are fellow Black Sheep but if you are, let me know in the comments and welcome. I send you hugs!
I am not writing this to be critical of my family. I do love them, of course. However, as I am going through this journey, I find that some of the things that pop up and that resonate with me are because of negative things that happened in the past. But, we all know that childhood setbacks (personally, I feel like traumas are for something more terrible that what I went through so I will just say setbacks) have long and far reaching effects.
Kind Reader, I am certain that a lot, if not all, of my hangups and self doubts are from being the Black Sheep. I used to think that I had to dissect and analyze these feelings because that was the only way I was going to be able to make peace with them. Yet, if I were to look at this through the lens of this new description of a Black Sheep, I can see it all from a new perspective. One view of empathy and celebration as opposed to hurt and self-criticism; as if there was something wrong or bad that I am doing/had done. All the things that created these doubts exist because they were trying to protect what they thought was the prime directive. However, we know that change is constant and, at least by this description, that is what the Black Sheep forces traditions to face.
I don’t want to start spinning my own wool, but that is so on brand for me. 😂 I don’t care much for traditions. If it is something goofy or fun, like Friendsgiving, sure count me in. The only good traditions are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously in my opinion. Also, did you catch that yarn reference? HA! I’m a dork and will fully admit it.
I have always felt that I was the Black Sheep in my family, Dear Reader. Even to this day, while things are much better between myself and my family, I still feel like I am on the outside looking in. Oddly, sometimes it is by choice… and self preservation.
I am the middle child. As such, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. I cannot recall any childhood achievement ever acknowledged; straight A report cards, school plays, perfect attendance awards, class treasurer and so on. Even my birthday is in the middle of my eldest sister and younger brother. Within 9 days, there are 3 birthdays. It was always celebrated as a group. Never distinctly any one of ours as it was more cost effective to do it this way. I think this is why I don’t really celebrate it now. As recently as few years ago, like 2-3 maybe, I got a text asking “Hey, Are you coming over?” I said that I was already doing something else and I asked why. My sister said, “Oh we are having a birthday party for you guys and we have a cake for you.” No one had ever mentioned at any time previous that there was a plan of a party. 😳😂
In my family, we have that “if we don’t like you, we wouldn’t pick on you” kind of thing. However, there are times when it can go too far, even though we are all laughing like hyenas. We are pretty ruthless. Another attribute that I have, that others in my family don’t, is that I tan so dark in the sun that I look like I am from a different nationality as well as a different family. 🤭 You can imagine the jokes.
Then there’s the whole thing about being gay. Oh, and I am the only one of my siblings that was “asked” to move out. I am not going to say that the 2 are related, but I will say the proximity between them is quite coincidental…
I love and pursue all creative endeavors. I have always been told that I wasn’t any good at any of them. Out of the nearly 70 shows that I have done, I can count on one hand how many times my family has come to offer support. I don’t say this to complain, I just know that what I love to do isn’t something they enjoy. It’s a bummer, but I get it.
I think because of all this, I always had my own things going on. I have always been curious about everything, with a focus being anything that would be deemed creative or crafty. I am a maker. I want to know everything that is expressible. I want be everything and nothing at the same time. I need to know why people react. I want to physically hold my chakras. I have to feel all of the feelings that humanity can ever feel. I want to live other lives. I want to travel to other star systems. I want to find Atlantis. I want to go whale watching and see Moby Dick. I want to see a nucleus from the inside. I want to have deep heart felt conversations with the new moon. I want to know what it is like to be beautiful. I want to jump into a black hole. I want to swim through an aurora borealis. I want to walk across Antarctica before it thaws. The closest thing that comes to all of this for me is Theatre and what playwrights bring to a page.
I don’t know anyone else in my living family, even the recently deceased, that have this need to go through this avenue of life or have dealt with these wants. So far, I think my cobbled together life represents this well, but I want more of it. So much more of it. I have also noticed that being the Black Sheep is not for the faint of heart. It can be lonely, sad or even build resentment, but we are fighters and survivors and must decide for ourselves how we let this define us. With this new outlook, I choose to celebrate it. I choose to blossom and bloom and perfume the room with love.
With that, Gentle Reader, I feel like a massive boulder has been slid out of the way so that I can see the road ahead more clearly. Thank you for letting me bend your ear. Especially today. This was a long post. Thanks for sticking through it.
Stay safe and alert. Take care of yourself and those you care about.
Until next time…