Understanding our past can provide us with important information to propel us forward in our lives. It can be a source for learning about how we have come to make sense of things in our world and how all of our decisions have been influenced by what our mind believes happened to us.
It is not that our experiences are not real. Your emotions around the past are real. They are your understanding of what happened and our emotions are what drive our decisions.
We have all had situations that were not good growing up. I know this because every parent is perfectly imperfect. Of course some situations are worse than others, but as humans we all have the amazing ability to create a means to help us deal with any pain that has occurred. We create a survival skill.
You have gained from having this survival skill. It has most likely helped you to be successful in many areas of your life, but often it does not help the most intimate relationships, those we need to be vulnerable in, to be connected to our core in order to have deep connections.
These are the relationships we have with our spouse/partner, children or parents, mostly.
So what, you ask? Well, consider for a moment what it is like to have to live your life in survival mode. It takes a lot of work. It creates tension. A protective shield is built.
It is missing the core you.
If who you really are is missing, how connected do you think you will be to those you love?
You can’t be your highest and most authentic self in survival mode. You need to be vulnerable.
Identify the Key Decision
To unveil that core, begin by understanding how the layers developed. When you were young, you had an experience in which you made a decision about life—it became your world view. Whether this was, to not show vulnerability and seem weak, to not let anyone control your decisions and live freely, etc... The list can go on.
Questions to ask yourself:
What relationships were most important to you growing up?
Whose love did you crave the most?
Who did you have to be for that person?
Who couldn’t you be?
What key decision did you make early in your life?
These questions can help you to identify what key decision you made early your life. How has this decision shaped your life in the past? In the present?
Can you visualize the decisions you have made for yourself based on this key decision you made early in your life?
Do not beat yourself up over this! You have benefited from this key decision and it was a gift that you gave yourself a long time ago. But, it may not be serving you anymore.
Make a new decision
Take a few deep breathes and with your hand on your heart look deep inside of yourself. Go to your heart and place of compassion. Thank yourself for providing you with this survival skill, for protecting you. Now tell yourself that you no longer need this.
In this place of compassion and love for yourself, what new decision will you make today? How will you better serve yourself and others?
It is from this elevated place that you can make a new decision that will inform how you make decisions moving forward. How can you impact others at a higher level?
How will this new decision impact your marriage, your child, your life? How will these relationships be different? What impact will this have on their lives? How will this new decision continue to impact the lives of others?
You have the power to change the way you view things. Your story may be one that has helped you to survive but has it helped you to have the life and relationships you truly desire?
Thank yourself, have compassion and make new decisions every day that are from this elevated place. Take action on these new decisions immediately and see yourself and relationships grow. Best wishes!