Traditions. Everybody has one. Whether it’s picking out the Christmas tree as a family or having your favorite cake every year for your birthday, you have a tradition. For most people, Easter is no different.
Tradition: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
Have you ever participated in a tradition with no real meaning behind it other than to please other people (or in this case, just to eat dinner?) Well this year hubby + I decided to skip the traditions of Easter + start breaking cycles. I told you I’m not your “typical Christian.”
Growing up, traditionally Easter for my family meant dressing up in our best outfits just to go to a church that we either
1. Never attended before
2. Hadn’t stepped foot in all year
- some kind of Easter egg hunt
- a trip to a relatives house who we haven’t seen or talked to all year
- waiting on our favorite relatives to arrive
- fixing a to go plate + going home
If that works for you, great!
But as for me + my house, we will not walk in cycles of dysfunction just because it’s comfortable + familiar. We attend church (almost) every Sunday, our children are too old to go Easter egg hunting (I don’t know what that has to do with Easter anyway), + in regards to relatives, you have to offer my children more than just food, gossip, poverty mindsets + an ill way of speaking, being + thinking for me to have them around you. Sorry, not sorry. We’re breaking cycles over here.
See, what I’ve learned is that when you force your children + even yourself, into “traditional activities” that aren’t beneficial just for the sake of upholding tradition, you’re doing a disservice to everyone involved. Let me break it down (watch your toes). If you have the type of family who invests a generational freedom/wealth mindset into you + your children, then traditions are valuable + necessary. But if that’s not your story + all they can offer is a generational bondage mindset, then break the cycle + stop trying to please everybody.
After all, what we don’t get through out children get stuck in. So why do people keep up with + pass along toxic traditions?
1. They’re unaware– awareness + perspective are amazing tools. Unfortunately, not all of us see toxicity the same way. Some people don’t see anything wrong with what they are doing, saying +/or allowing simply because it’s comfortable, familiar + it’s been normalized. Identification proceeds transformation. You can’t fix what you can’t or won’t identify.
2. They need a sense of belonging– this is a basic need of any human, even when the situation is toxic. If there’s no other sense of belonging, we often stay choose to function in dysfunction for the sake of feeling loved, valued + like we belong.
3. They’ve been taught that “family is family”– Yes it is, but my motto is I can love you from a distance. Especially when you bring negative energy with you. From a biblical perspective, the only people I’m obligated to are my spouse, children, + parents (+ being all the real, God only called us to honor them).
Have you ever found yourself in one of the above categories?
God knows I have. Up until about 10 years ago, I found myself in all 3. As a child, I didn’t have control over what I participated in, + even as a young adult, I was just doing what was familiar + expected of me. But as my family + my wisdom grew, I stopped doing what people expected of me + started doing what was in all of our best interest.
So the next time a family tradition or gathering pops up, take a minute to ask yourself these questions:
Is the environment healthy mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually?
Will the people who’ll be there add value to my life and the lives of my children?
Am I going because I want to or because I’m expected to?
Only you can determine how much weight the answers to these questions carry in your life. No one else. It’s time we start breaking cycles over our lives + the lives of our children.