Hello! I am James Sarvis, the founder of the Leaning Institute, and I am excited about introducing you to a powerful tool that I created called “My family lines.”
For you to understand it and make it meaningful to you, I suggest you get a piece of paper and a pen and be ready to draw your Family Lines. Your Family Lines will influence what you and your children’s path in life will be like, your success in life, and your development. And everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is affected positively or negatively by Family Lines. So, to help you understand it, I’m going to explain my Family Lines. As I go along, I’m going to explain to you each of the 3 stages of Family Lines, which stage I am in, and how knowing about Family Lines has helped bring peace and understanding to me and my family.
The first stage is your home stage, with your parents and siblings. First draw a long horizontal line across the paper. Than draw a circle with a line (like a stick figure) and write D above it for dad, draw another next to it and write M for mom. Next, you are going to put you and each of your siblings on the line, starting with who is “closest” to mom or dad. Not necessarily the birth order, but who is closer as far as relationship. Every child is born on a parents line, and it never changes. In my situation the first child born was a girl. As soon as she was born my mom and dad got a new title, ONLINE parent and OFFLINE parent. My sister was on dads line, making Dad her online parent, and mom her offline parent. Then the second child was born, and she was on dads line also. Then the 3rd child was born and she was also on dads line! The first 3 children born were on dads line. You may ask, how does that work? I do not know. But, I have seen cases where all children were on one parent’s line, and none were on the others. It seems cruel that a parent with multiple children may never get to experience the feeling of being an online parent. Again, I don’t know why it happens that way. Back to my Family Lines. A fourth child was born and my mom finally gets a child on her line, another little girl. Then finally, I came along, the baby. The first boy, and I became number one on my moms line. I was my mom’s little buddy and nothing could come between her and I. My mom was my online parent, my dad was my offline parent.
At first it may be difficult to decide who’s on whose line, but as time goes by, it gets easier to see. I’m able to see my Family Lines clearly, looking back through time.
Although I felt lucky to have that closeness with my mom, this stage was difficult for me. I didn’t have the terminology at the time to understand why I couldn’t have the same closeness with my dad that I had with my mom. I would see other boys or cousins who seemed to be so close to their dads, but that wasn’t the case for me. The frustration came in because I didn’t have to work for the relationship with my mom, I was on her line. There was some kind of magnetic pull that brought us together, but no matter what I did, I could not have that with my dad. My dad was a good dad, who provided for me, but because of my dad’s path he didn’t feel comfortable creating Leaning Moments with me. My dad’s dad died when he was a baby, and he was not on his mom’s line, therefore he never experienced what it was like to be on a parent’s line and have that close relationship. Naturally there are more, what I call Leaning Moments, with the parent whose line you are on. The offline parent will have to be proactive in creating those Leaning Moments. If my dad and I would have known what to do, I’m confident we could of created a closer relationship.
Everyone’s path is as unique as their fingerprints. But everyone is still affected by Family Lines.
Let’s go back to your lines on your piece of paper. Take a minute if you have brothers and sisters and decide where each of you are on that line. If you are having trouble deciding whether you are on mom or dad’s line, ask someone who knows you well. Other people can usually see it much better than we can. Or maybe you are one of the lucky ones. I have seen that usually when people can’t decide whose line they are on, they have parents who are close, and who rarely argue. If you have siblings who you are extremely close to, you are also going to be “close” on the line, being on the same parents line. If you and your siblings are not very close, you will find that you are not close on the line either. You are most likely on different parents lines.
You may still be at this stage in life and do not have children yet, but regardless of where you are, I hope that accepting Family Lines can bring you and your family peace through understanding. The most important thing to remember is to be proactive in creating Leaning Moments, especially with whom it comes less naturally.
In my next article I will write about stage 2, which is the marriage or couple stage, when you have children of your own. Stay tuned.