In a lot of ways I had a privileged childhood. Both sides of my family are well-educated and accomplished. We weren’t wealthy, but I didn’t want for many things and there was no overt abuse. People were probably confused as to why I was not happier. We look great on paper.
I received the message that I was difficult to love as a child. This is not to say that my childhood was bad or filled with trauma, but there was a lack of affection and connection. I’ve mentioned before that there is addiction in my family, but I want this blog to be about healing and not about blame or the negative behaviour that accompanies this disease so I hope you understand why I keep the focus on myself.
I will make the point that if you are actively numbing yourself in one way or another to the world around you a wall is built. It is much harder to connect with people, be open to their needs, and connect with healthy intimacy. This can be an especially challenging situation for children who look to adults to model relationships, self-worth, and community.
From “values: finding the real you“:
Over time, almost all of our core beliefs become unconscious. They control our life’s direction, and influence our growth and success, but they do it from backstage, like a play’s producer or director. Unless we recognize them, name them, and sort them, they run our unconscious and inform all of our decisions. And they often stop us from really hearing ourselves. They can make our personal behaviors deeply unsettling or painful. When we don’t understand our values, we are divided or at war with ourselves. We are more likely to escape into bad habits and regress into childish behavior to “fluff” ourselves up. We stay stuck in the swamp.
Knowing our core values is the first step to listening to our own heart.
They form the Christmas tree on which we hang our own ornaments of self. They are a deep-rooted part of us, and act like a rudder on a ship. They highlight what we stand for. They represent our unique, individual core. They tell the world (and our own brain) that this is my substance, my lifeblood, my personal code of conduct.
From “Why do we believe what we do?“:
It’s hard to accept the idea that many of my basic beliefs are flawed. Rejecting individual thoughts is easier; when I think about identifying and addressing the beliefs I have, my chest starts to hurt. It’s anxiety-provoking, poking at your basic makeup. I don’t like to admit that there’s a chance that I’m human and my thoughts suffer from bias.
Still, one of my beliefs about myself is that I’m open-minded and willing to accept new ideas. So, I guess this means a more in-depth self-analysis, to find out what I really believe about myself as a person.
I discovered, recently, that I can’t really explain myself. I’m not entirely sure who I am. I don’t have a complete picture. I realized that when I came across an article that suggested identifying your strengths and weaknesses. I was stumped. And if I can’t explain myself, then I can’t really claim to know myself. If you can’t define something, then you really don’t understand it.
I’m not entirely sure where to start, but I suspect continuing to work on that strength and weakness list is a good idea. It will help me find out where I should be digging. It will help me figure out that beliefs that drive the thoughts that hold me down and back. It has suited me, in some ways to hold onto them. What we know is comfortable and easy.
Analysis and change can only happen when we decide we want more for ourselves.