“We are products of our pasts, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” Rick Warren
Well, fuck me sideways and call me Karen… Rick Warren, you have hit the nail on the head. My head.
Honestly, this quote literally leapt out of my Facebook feed the other day and bitch slapped me across my real facey. I’m sure I have heard it before, but clearly, I wasn’t aware of what I am aware of now.
In fact, it couldn’t resonate more with me and my life right now if you rolled it in pink leopard print glitter and called it London Dene… aka my alter ego.
It’s not rocket science, but it is true that we behave, act or react to moments, circumstances, words and things in our daily lives from our ‘natural’ behavioural and emotional responses. ‘Natural’ is inverted commas because we have actually adopted these behaviours and these emotions via the things that have happened to us in our past. So technically, it is not ‘natural’ for us at all.
Most of these ‘natural’ responses are not typically things we can simply turn off either, right?! We have tuned them into being a part of ourselves for so long that we barely notice they are there any more. Truth?
It is rare for us to be fully aware of these responses because they now come so naturally and to try and to analyse them every minute of every day would be completely head fuckingly exhausting!
STILL, we can start to work out where we are imprisoning ourselves by beginning to see and understand things more consciously bit by bit.
I guess you could call it reflection, which is what I am now choosing to do at the end of each day—looking at how I have reacted emotionally, physically and behaviourally to things that have happened to me during the day.
I have a hectic, chaotic life with a handful of kids and a husband that works away. On top of this, I work in a high-stress job and then, to make things more complicated, I am a people-pleasing, over-thinking woman who spent a lot of her life thinking she wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough …. blah, blah, blah, chicken.
I’d usually say that I have been like this forever except when I was a baby and toddler and I was probably more of a spoilt-last-child-only-daughter-from-four-kids so I was probably carried on a throne made from my older brothers teeth afters they’ve been coated in 24 carat gold – just ask my brother – the third born.
Anyway, I can’t actually remember what I ate for dinner last night, let alone know when I adopted this ‘natural’ behaviour and emotional instability. But what I do know is that I have had it most of my life, and I’m pretty bloody sick of it.
So I have started asking myself these questions at the end of each day:
- What happened today?
- How did it make me feel?
- Why did it make me feel that way?
The more “why’s” you ask, the harder you have to dig, so it breaks it down a wee bit further and becomes a little more clearer.
Then I ask myself:
- How could I have reacted differently?
- What will I put into place next time?
- How will this help me in the future?
I know it sounds lame, calculating even but aren’t you tired of being a prisoner of the past?
What’s the harm in giving it a red hot go?
What could change in your life if you released the chains that you’ve kept on for so long?
I’m thinking it may actually be something great. Something better than what currently is. Something that means we step outside of our comfort zones and people pleasing umbrellas. Stepping out and getting totally and unapologetically uncomfortably wet in life!
Whose with me?