Ever think about the things you were taught and how they affected you? Yeah – me neither.
Growing up we didn’t think about what or how we processed our beliefs. They just simply…were. Our parents and teachers said it, we listened and off we went to conquer the world. We didn’t have too many other reference points and we clearly didn’t know the result of it all until we were older and needed to undo all the happy work they did. I am not dissing anyone’s parents or upbringing, but we all have to figure it out for ourselves. The hard part is the undoing.
For me the first step was the epiphany that my beliefs were actually different than others. You don’t know what you don’t know, and I apparently didn’t know a whole heck of a lot. I started to realize this in college. As soon as I set out and started meeting all kinds of people, I was intrigued. Intrigued and amazed how beautifully different we all were.
After I flew the coop, the second part of the equation was deciphering what beliefs I wanted to keep and what I needed to change. This was difficult because some stories were so deeply ingrained that I didn’t have clue how to change them. It wasn’t until I began to form my own beliefs, that I was able to start switching out the old ones. One at a time, I determined what best worked for me.
Trust me, it wasn’t always a piece of cake. Sometimes, I wondered if it was easier to just leave them alone, but my gut would always be the deciding factor.
Flash forward – now I have a daughter in college and I’m really aware of the little nuggets of information I ingrained in her. I wonder if she’ll want to undo all the things I taught her (big sigh!). I’m not offended though because I finally realize that it’s just part of life. Our parents give us some tools to get going and then we have to essentially start over and figure it out on our own.
The one piece of advice that I’d give my daughter and (my 21 year old self) is that it’s okay to make your life your own. In fact, its part of life – your life. So when you are ready take your time and make those changes because living YOUR life is what it’s all about.
“Live the Life of Your Dreams
When you start living the life of your dreams, there will always be obstacles, doubters, mistakes and setbacks along the way. But with hard work, perseverance and self-belief there is no limit to what you can achieve.” ― Roy T. Bennett
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Originally posted on Happiness Depends