When I was 6, my mom and dad got a divorce and my mom moved to NY. My sister remembers standing on our driveway in Florida waving goodbye as she drove away in her white station wagon. As a young girl, I didn’t quite understand where she was going and why. They say your subconscious belief patterns are formed by the age of 6. These are the beliefs responsible for the way a person thinks and behaves, basically lives their lives, and can affect relationships, career, finances and more. When my mom moved away, I downloaded the belief “I am not worthy of being loved.” If my mother can’t even stay with me, who ever will? Since then, anytime anyone gets close to me, I repel. I retreat. I run. I run for a safe place where no one can ever leave me again, and subsequently, that’s left me harboring quite a bit of sadness.
Growing up my older sister and I played, all day, every day. We used our imaginations to escape the grief we had internalized. We became best friends and did everything together. Over time, we drifted apart. She grew disgruntled and angry and took a lot of her pain out on me. I understand now, but at the time, I didn’t. I just thought I was worthy of punishment, like it was my fault all this had happened. It wasn’t until recently I started to put my story together, and understand, how early childhood events affect us, even well into our adulthood years. I found ACoA- Adult Children of Alcoholics- a program, like AA, for anyone who has experienced family dysfunction intending to teach you to become your own loving parent.
We all carry these voices inside our head: “you can’t do that,” “you aren’t ready” “no one will care about your story,” “you can’t quit your job and pursue your dreams.” All of which prevent us from living the lives we yearn for. It’s interesting to tune into these thoughts and ask, is this me or my mom or dad or sister or crazy uncle speaking? Likely, if the voice is negative, it isn’t your own. It’s coming from someone else who at some point said you weren’t good enough or that skirt is ugly, and now you fear fully expressing yourself or doing something you really want to do. The good thing is we are all equipped with the tools to change. It just takes patience and practice and most importantly forgiveness. We need to forgive ourselves for all we didn’t do or did do that wasn’t aligned with our own best interests. We need to forgive others knowing also they were just trying to do the best they could carrying whatever pain they had at that time. Don Henley had it right. The heart of the matter is forgiveness. In order to move forward in life, we must forgive ourselves for the burden of the past (or present) and out of love, give ourselves the opportunity to live a life we desire, not what others desire for us, but what we want for ourselves.
I’d be happy to hear from anybody about your own stories of the past or present and how you’ve healed and grown or have yet to do so. Perhaps, we could help each other heal together.
Shelter, Island. NY