While planning our destination wedding, I was overjoyed with the upcoming celebration of our love and the union of our families. I pondered on the dynamics and meaning of joining our families while also creating our own nuclear family.
Leading up to the wedding, everyone began processing how they perceived their individual relationships would change due to Gilson and I stepping into a husband and wife “role.” I explored what our union meant to me and how I wanted to show up in it. As with any change in a system or in life (good or bad), it came with some level of resistance, insecurities, and a wide range of emotions.
I began a therapeutic journey in order to effectively process all of the life changes. In our work, I discussed my life’s ups and downs while exploring stories and messages that were passed down by my parents, family members, friends, media, and society. I recognized that I was holding on to expectation(s), fear(s), and hurt(s) that were not necessarily my own.
I scanned the files of my mind and gained insight into how deep the messages were embedded. I was invited to challenge the stories and beliefs which motivated much of my behavior and decision making, whether, conscious or unconscious.
In my work with clients or in conversations with friends or strangers, it has been noted that we all operate based on messages and stories that tell us what is acceptable or unacceptable, safe or unsafe, or normal or abnormal (the list goes on). We create our (I use this loosely) “shoulds” based on what others have presented and then do our best to live up to them.
Below are some points which I invite you to explore, question, and ultimately decide for yourself:
- We unconsciously project or teach fear and insecurity.
We have been taught morals and values based on what previous generations may have held to be true for them in their time. Is it fair to say that we have also been taught what to fear and how far we can go? If we don’t become conscious of how the ineffective messages of the past effect our current outlook then we will pass on the same old tired messages to future generations.
- Recognizing that If I don’t ask the hard questions, I won’t get the real answers.
Self-discovery is not for the faint of heart. We have to get real with how we became who we are in this moment and if we even like who we see. If not, chipping away and building yourself up will be a long and sometimes lonely road. Just because you are ready for change does not mean others in your life are ready. If you change then that means they have to change in relation to you. Remember, we are all on our own journey.
3. Due to our limiting stories and beliefs we manifest behavior that causes pain on others.
Have you ever heard hurt people, hurt people? Well, I find this to be true. Sometimes, hurt people don’t recognize what they’re doing. They justify that they’re way of being is correct because it’s what they’ve lived and sometimes have come to accept in their lives. Does this mean their behavior is acceptable? Absolutely, not. But, it can be understood. With understanding, change can happen in all of our lives.
4. We create more of the same painful experiences if we continue to believe old stories about ourselves that no longer serve us.
We can change our external experience/world but if we continue to engage in old, destructive behavior or patterns of thinking, more of the same will be created. The past will become our present and our future.
I always remember this verse as it sums it all up perfectly, “And no one puts new wine into old wine-skins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wine-skins so that both are preserved” (New Living Translation, Matthew. 9:17).
Here I am, supporting you wherever you find yourself on your journey.