Education Article: Are You Stuck In Your Life Story And Unable To Find Your Way Out?
We all have a life story. The older we are, the more chapters we have in our life story. The chapters of our life story vary from person to person. Our life story sets the stage for continuing victimization, under fulfillment and unachieved hopes and dreams. We all know people who are living in the past and blaming their current difficulties on others who have long since left their lives. It may be a parent or a relative or a situation or circumstance that was encountered sometime in the past. These past memories and circumstances can continue to define who we are today if we allow them to do so. If you have been the receipient of the blame and criticism of others who would rather blame someone than to take decisive action to change and reclaim their lives, you understand that it feels like to be disempowered and scapegoated, when in fact you have done nothing wrong. Does loving someone mean that you accept all their blame and criticism for their own limitations, failures and lack of achievement? I don't think so!
We have the possibility of living in one or more of three time zones simultaneously-the past, the present or the future. Most of us clinge on to the past because we do not know what else to do. We mistakenly believe that the past sets us up for our present and future and defines who we are from the time that events occur. The real truth is that each one of us has the innate capability and power to overcome any past memory, event or situation that is more likely to be negative versus positive in nature. Our lives have a flow and a synchronicity that leads us to so many opportunities and places that we are coincidentially supposed to go to. We can filter all of our experiences through a negative filter that we acquired in the past and that we automatically use in every situation that we encounter after that. We do not have to live in learned helplessness and give our personal resources and power to others in our lives. We can define love in our lives as being unconditional with each one of us offering a true authentic self to another and their accepting our true authentic self and being happy for us that we are who we are. It is such a gift to give to ourselves and to the others who occupy our life space.
We each have the potential for post traumatic growth in which we face adversity and grow from it. We have to stop "shoulding" overselves and start to "must" ourselves and understand that we must seize the opportunities that lie before us. In therapy, we will mutually explore your story, your "shoulds" and "oughts" and I will assist you to become the authentic person that you so want to be. Being authentic means that you listen to your inner voice and act accordingly. It does not mean being selfish or egotistical. It is so important that we seize the "Now" and that we move forward in synchronicity and flow towards our personal destiny and self actualization. We lost track of ourselves by following the hopes and dreams of others to the exclusion of our own hopes and dreams. It is possible to move forward in a positive way and to define ourselves as we choose without relinquishing our identity and our needs, wants and desires. It is possible to redefine ourselves according to our own beliefs and principles. Working in a support group such as a 12 step group or church group can provide you with the knowledge and feedback that you need in order to grow and change so that you can achieve your personal goals in life.
John Garlock, Ph.D.