Family is important to me. As a youngster, my large family was everything to me. But from adolescence into my mid-twenties, I was
determined to establish my own identity, distancing myself from my background. Many years later I came to a place of greater understanding
about my roots and how I understand them (see figure at right). It captures some sort of integration: My roots, my family, continue
to inform who I am and support me, and yet the rest of me is free to be what I can be, built on this foundation.
includes two parents formed in the Depression and World War II, a grandfather and an uncle who took leadership roles in social justice
movements (Tommy Douglas' government in Saskatchewan, and the Antigonish Co-op movement, respectively), and a family tradition deeply
rooted in Roman Catholic prayer and service to others.
Do you own your story yet?
Know Your Roots
Most of us do not have ideal backgrounds, and many have suffered terribly as a result of early traumas. Yet I think all of us need
to come to terms with our family of origins in whatever ways that we can. Counselling can be a significant part of that long, complex