We are all prisoners of our childhood, whether we know it, suspect it, deny it, or have never even heard about the possibility. –Alice Miller
More and more, I see the truth in this. Good and bad. But inescapable. As a child, I was sometimes made afraid to ask because asking yielded consequences, rejection, disappointment. They still often do, and that feeling (not the reality) stings as bad now as then. Maybe worse because it has festered for so long before I came to realize it’s effect, or it’s source. But I have learned where it came from, and put it in it’s perspective. Now the sting is small, and the benefits of asking for what I want (and the getting of what I want) far outweighs any tiny sting.
So, I see it in myself, and when I let people talk, I see it in them. Clear as light. If I listen long enough, everything goes back to when we were young. I hear it again and again.I hate it when the psychologists are right. And they generally are. There is no breaking out of that place of childhood without an awareness of it.
Not that awareness is the cure. It just makes the cure possible. Awareness changes nothing. In fact, awareness without doing anything about it may make it worse. We can beat up on ourselves for not breaking out of it more, because we know and think we should be doing better because we have that knowledge. Or we make the mistake of thinking because we know something about ourselves that it’s better. It’s not. It’s just known.
Getting better takes knowledge, tools, work, and time. All four.
Understanding is just the first step. Recognition is only that.
Next we have to find the tools to help us past it. A few, a very, very few, can get those tools on their own. And they are out there. Books. Videos. Articles. There are lots and lots of resources. But rare is the person who can dig through the tools and find the right one on their own. They are better off finding help. A counselor. A therapist. A Coach. Someone who has studied and experienced much and can help sort through the tools and techniques and find not just a tool, but the RIGHT tool for who we each are.
We can do it without those helpers, but choosing that route is like finding our way to the local drug store by way of China. It’s the long journey, with many, many missteps and years, even decades, of detours. Finding the right person to help us is like getting the best directions available, directions that will adjust as our lives change, like a GPS for our lives and our desire for a better, more abundant life.
Then comes the work. Knowledge is essential. Tools are invaluable. But a house, or a life, is not built in a day. It takes time, and it takes doing it right, building a solid foundation. Then walls, doors, windows. A roof for protection. Step by step to get it built.
Once again, we can do it on our own, or we can get help. Doing it on our own always means detours, mistakes, redos. Having someone in your corner who has made the journey with you means you have someone to keep you on track, on schedule.
One of the big errors and discouragements that people feel when they are in counseling or coaching is thinking that it’s a quick fix-all. It’s not. A lot of counselors and coaches have marketed the idea that it’s a miracle cure, a fast and almost miraculous way to get all we want in life. But that is not the case. It takes work. It takes time. You are building not just a house, but a castle, something far more wonderful than you imagined for yourself. And that takes time and work. Counselors will tell you that typically it’s about 3 years to work through emotional issues Coaches will tell you it takes about a year. And refreshers are often needed to make sure we are on track.
But, that is far less time than not doing it, than living a life battling ourselves and our childhoods and our inner demons. There’s a proven path with helpers. Without them – it’s a science experiment.
So, all four steps. knowledge/recognition, tools, time, work.
But it all starts with self knowledge. Self recognition. Self Honesty.
Where are you on the path? Who is your guide? Be honest. And take the next step. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. But please, please, avoid going there by way of Bejing.
Be well, Travel Wisely.