How Our Childhood Affects Our Choices As Adults
We all read inspirational books, listen to recordings that sometimes sound as if it is new information, and promise ourselves we will do better tomorrow. And then tomorrow arrives, and we are totally someplace else, forgetting our promise.
Healing is a choice. When we choose not to shift our thoughts, not to gain a perspective, we are basically telling ourselves we do not deserve better. Here’s the comedy of it all; we already have all the answers. What we are responding to when we read inspirational books is that those writers give us perspective when we are lost in that dark tunnel of confusion of who we really are, and what we really want. That conflict keeps us small, keeps us in the shadows, and then we hear what we think are profound words and go: “Ah-Ha!” they are inspirational because we already knew that…but could not access it because fear stood in our way. Sometimes I am asked: “What stops people from keeping commitments?” “Fear” I answer.
Plain and simple; the fear that if we are to be seen for who we really are, we will get thrown off the bus…rejected, and for a very young child, that feels like a death threat. How does that apply when that child grows up, and is now 45?
Unless that child had enough experiences to repair self-esteem and confidence, that fear appears as self-sabotage when making the choice to keep a commitment; even something simple like: making the commitment to exercise daily ends up being occasionally, verses everyday.
Why couldn’t that commitment be maintained? Fear of being successful in the smallest measure…which often is played out on a grander scale; not making enough money, not living to one’s full potential, living in the grip of the facade of powerlessness. All of our childhood dramas get played out on symbolic levels when we are older; what appears to be one thing can actually be something totally different. I knew someone growing up who was afraid of pigeons…and lived in Chicago. For her, the pigeons symbolize the unpredictable environment of the home she grew up in; just as being unable to predetermine the path of an oncoming pigeon, she could not predict the oncoming rejection of her parents as a young child. So, how do we recommit to making healthier choices; choosing to heal rather than stew in our own juices. Choosing to stand up for ourselves even in the face of possible terrible ramifications. Choosing not to worry and instead, trust the universe that things will be okay. The answer is that simple and clear…make different choices.
Be aware that the bees have left the hive; from a distance, it looks menacing. Upon closer inspection, the hive is empty. We can consciously shift our behavior by choosing what to think about.
Fears are rooted in our childhoods, but we can move on, we can make different choices now.
But, knowing the answer and acting upon it is not so simple. What we always need to do is take baby steps so that we can monitor that the world does not stop spinning because we make other choices. That’s how we build our confidence, our sense of competence. After all, our bodies have moved on, we need to give our emotional side permission to do the same. This month, I did something I never do. I listened to a book on tape. I am in the car 2 hours a day, so this turned out to be the perfect choice...although trying to take notes while going 60 mph was challenging.
THE FIVE SECRETS YOU MUST DISCOVER BEFORE YOU DIE by John Izzo is the perfect book for those in stressful times. It amazes me how simple life can really be if we were to let go and allow ourselves to experience the world as it truly is instead of how we interpret it according to our fears. His book is profound in its simplicity and gives great lessons that truly work, great tools for making choices.