I have to do a genogram for my career counseling class and I included my immediate family, Chris and my grandparents and aunts on both sides. My teacher docked me off five points for not including my cousins and uncles. Through therapy with Wendi today I realized that it is too painful to include them. It is easier to just say, these are the people whose careers I know about and to ignore the rest. The truth is, there is still a lot of feelings about the move from when I was five. I lost all of my inner resources. The people in my life that love me today live inside me as sources of strength; when I think about them during hard times it makes me more resilient. Today I worked on building up the holy spirit with in me as an inner resource. I had a block against doing that 100 percent. I realized that my mom had told me to avoid pentecostal churches because they are cult-like and in adopting her belief I was blocking really letting the Holy Spirit abide in me. It is biblical to believe in the Holy Spirit, it isn’t, however very Catholic (which my mom is btw). Part of me felt like I was being a bad daughter by listening to the Holy Spirit’s promptings about when to make an amends, guidance about knowing right from wrong, and comforting words. By looking at the truth about my mom and her belief system as something that I can choose to adopt or not it freed me from it. My mom knows a lot about most things. She is an expert at parenting techniques, singing, teaching, and many other things. She was my first version of the Holy Spirit living with in me because she was my first teacher, the person who showed me how the world worked. Now that I am older, I can compartmentalize the areas of my life that my mom has access to speak into. None of this means that she is a bad person at all because everyone is entitled to their beliefs and everyone is allowed to be different. I just feel free from having to believe what she believes and I get to choose my own way. It sound like common sense but it really was inhibiting me from true freedom in my spirituality. Using the new found fullness of the Holy Spirit as my inner strength, I was able to go to a very, very painful little girl place. When I moved as a five year old from England I “lost” (internally) my aunts, uncle, cousins, and grandparents. When I go over there to visit or they come here it very much feels like we are starting over as acquaintances, then we get emotionally close and the day comes where we have to return to the countries where we reside. It is a very painful cycle that repeats the trauma I experienced with the first move. There is a huge part of me that avoids at all costs communicating with them during the time when we are apart because I have fear that they won’t respond or we’ll just lose touch again over time. In fact, the little five year old in me doesn’t want to initiate communication with them at all. Back then, I didn’t have the Holy Spirit in me, or if I did, I didn’t know it was there. Now, I can use the Holy Spirit’s comforting, guiding presence to lead me to reunite with my family overseas. It’s like a bridge from 29 year old Amy to 5 year old Amy saying, “It’s ok, we’ll do this together, it doesn’t have to be the way it’s always been. Let’s find a new way.” While I cried like a baby in the office, underneath a Cookie Monster colored furry blanket, I left feeling strong inside and inspired. Wendi told me my homework was to just think about connecting with family and consider what it might be like to change my story in this new way; how it could be different this time, less painful. I asked the Holy Spirit what I should do as I walked to my car and I heard this, “Email your mom and get everyone’s emails, then send them all questions about their career to make a first connection.” This is perfect because it’s not as awkward as saying, “Hi, will you be the Aunt I’ve always wanted you to be but didn’t know how to ask before until now?” This is an example of how I can take a seemingly pointless exercise at school, and turn it into something meaningful and life changing. I don’t know what to expect, but I am hopeful about the possibility of having these people back in my life again. The rest of my life doesn’t have to be the same as it’s always been. It can be new. Better even.