When Family Serves You a Dish of Side-Eye

April Dawn Patterson
4 min readMay 15, 2022

Giving yourself the love and respect you need to thrive.

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As astrologer Michael Lennox said in his daily astro alert yesterday (he offers them for free during eclipse seasons), “we are all moving through a pretty deep healing of the heart, opening us up to allow for more love to flow through us, and as us. […] absolutely nothing will be the same for any of us on the inside of our hearts, and in terms of how we give and receive love.”

I had one such ah-ha moment yesterday I wanted to share in case it’s helpful for you. I have family that is not very accepting of… well, I’m tempted to say “me.”

The Why. I don’t want to say their love is conditional; but I think that if they show me unconditional love and acceptance, then they are afraid that they will be perceived by me as condoning of my behavior and (new-ish) belief systems — which they understand to be completely incompatible with their own belief systems. By cutting their hugs a little short and letting distance and disapproval creep into their stance, the corners of their eyes, and in the space between us, they may feel as though they’re actually helping me save my soul — that their lack of exuberant, unconditional love may be the red flag (or warning sign) that I need in order to stop my reckless, headlong fall into sin/damnation/eternal torment. (Having grown up in a strict, religious background, I can tell you that the fear and pain there that one feels for “unsaved” loved ones is REAL.)

Why do I feel so confident that this is indeed what they’re feeling? Well, because often a thing like this — this unspoken energetic current — is generational. It’s an inheritance, for good and bad. How many times have I felt a family member’s disapproval so sharply it takes my breath away? Too many times, I’ll tell you. I have found myself holding my breath, unconsciously (at the time) willing myself away from the moment, the pain, and from myself. And when my own child does something “bad,” how often have I felt that default mechanism click into place of becoming cold in response?

Yesterday’s encounter with the silent disapproval and curtailed affection went better than a previous version of me would have experienced it. Why? Because this time I had some tools.



April Dawn Patterson

Poet, Author, and Podcast Host of The Sandbox. Dream Interpreter, Numerologist, and Soul-Empowering Hypnosis practitioner.