So we’ve realised our parents aren’t perfect.
We’ve stepped back from them, their expectations and their timetable and rituals…
But how do we stop the habits that we’ve formed watching them?
How, when something breaks, do we not panic about how much it might cost to fix instead of laughing at the genuinely funny situation?
How do you realise your potential to be you and make your own judgements on situations?
How do you laugh more than you fret?
How do you remind yourself that having anxiety will always exacerbate this pattern of reacting rather than responding?
Sleeping helps; not having a migraine helps and having a super supportive and communicative partner definitely helps, and let’s be real- a couple of Midori Splice’s help too.
There’s a lot of clutter in my mind (and in my life, as I continue to cram a house-worth of existence into a bedroom with 2 cats and another giant human…), and I’m endlessly sorting through it and trying to organise it… Part of the reason I started this blog, to be honest…
One of my favourite things to tell people when they have major realisations about issues in their lives is that conscious awareness is key; a first step in changing behaviours, understanding our actions, ourselves and our relationships. My therapist told me this and I never believed her. I thought I was trapped and helpless in my situation and that my “conscious awareness” was like the consolation prize in my therapeutic journey… The “thanks for coming, we want to tell you you did good… but you’re actually really shit… Here’s a crappy ribbon” prize so that we don’t look like arseholes…
But it’s SO TRUE! Conscious awareness is like the first step! The actual KEY to moving forward and changing habits and creating new patterns!
Without being aware of these reactions and learned responses, how are you EVER going to change them!? How are you ever going to move forward in your own journey? You can’t possibly!
I welcomed the realisation that I had reacted by rote today. It means that I’m actually able to react differently next time in the same situation. It means that I don’t have to accept the habits I’ve learned from either of my parents as my own and it means that I’m on my way to really creating my own person.
My parents are amazing. Each of them, for their own strengths and their own beautiful idiosyncrasies and their own craziness. But I don’t want to be a replica of them. I don’t want to take on board all the things that, in my opinion, have held them back from their happiness.
I want to be on my own journey. I want to be my own person. Proud to be my parent’s daughter, but carving my own path through the jungle that is life: NOT following theirs. I don’t want to fall down the same ravines that they did and I don’t want to take the same ditch they did and wind up taking on water when there was a possible dry track a few metres to the left. I want to trust my gut on ever decision that I make. And maybe that decision finds me down a path towards a lesson I’d rather not have had to learn, but just past that little scrubby patch might be the most glorious view across a magnificent valley! A view I might never have seen had I just kept blindly following the path already forged by my parents.
So. We become aware. We step back. And then we practice. Practice and practice and practice until we’re making our own choices and responding to situations from they heart rather than from a habit. The tricky part is applying the same awareness across multiple situations, not waiting for the exact same moment to arise… But that, again, comes with practice.
I’m working out who I want to be. I’m developing a clear picture of her in my head. I’m beginning to be able to visualise what she will look like, how she might respond if presented with the same situation again and how she might feel to exist within. Visualising her will bring her into fruition. Believing in her will make her powerful. And BEING will … … I don’t know what that will do… But I’m excited about it!