When I saw the prompt “family traits” several things came to mind. Family traits: the pride that makes me so insecure and judgemental - the same I’ve seen in my Father. Family traits: my round cheeks and nose - inherited from my bohemian Grandmother. Family traits: the consideration that drives me to rethink the things I say 15 million times before I say them, trying to guess which version would make my target feel the most special or the least hurt - demonstrated to me by my Mother. Family traits: the things that a dear friend and psychology student argues are fixed in our lives; the things that come to mind whenever I read Exodus 20:5-6 “for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy and steadfast love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”
I don’t know exactly where I’m going here, and I’m not a student of the human psyche. I barely even know myself. But what I do know comes from the blood, sweat, and tears of honesty and bravery in relationships. I know that, if I can change the nose my grandma gave me, I can change the pride from my dad. I know that the hardest part is to find it, but once I do, I can move it. I know that what I move out of my house isn’t going to end up as a hand-me-down. Sometimes I feel like I did as a child when my parents asked me to clean up the attic - standing up there with the boxes of 15 years scattered and overflowing - totally overwhelmed, a little teary, and totally willing to be distracted. But I’m going to sort and organize. I’m going to move out the pride and fear and fill those places up with love and courage. I’m going to sweat and strain and not get distracted because that’s what I’m giving my son and daughter - I’m giving them a clean soul-attic full of treasure and strength.