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There’s truth to the saying an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. For better or worse, we take on many of the traits of our parents and our home growing up. While this can simply be humorous quirks passed down from one generation to the next, it can also include other negative aspects of coping with life.

To be sure, many of these we’re not even aware of and it takes someone else to point them out to us.

Others might be an open secret within the family. We all know our tendencies, but we don’t talk about them with each other.

And still others we’ve come to hate and want nothing to do with anymore.

But we can’t run from our past. And remaining ignorant of it isn’t helpful either.

One of the first steps toward maturity is accepting we’ve all inherited baggage from our families growing up that have shaped who we are today.

This is not to blame our parents or to deny the responsibility for the choices we’ve made in life. But it is a reminder our story doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

We’re simply following our parents blindly when we miss the ways they’ve shaped us – robbing us of the ability to intentionally cultivate the good and reject the bad.

And we don’t get to where we need to be by simply doing the opposite of whatever they did either. We’re simply embracing the flip side of the same coin whenever this is an uncritical rejection of their traits.

Accepting the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree allows us to consider deeply our origin story.

In what ways have the previous generations shaped who we are? And what patterns are we blindly repeating or simply doing the opposite? 

In the end, recognizing our inheritance gives us the freedom to figure out what to do with it today.

Photo by Sergey Merkulov on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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