Saturday, 6 August 2011

Life Lessons From Observing Family, Little Children and Myself

I had a wonderful time catching with relatives back from Melbourne whom I haven't met for years. My wife especially had a great time with my cousin sister and her daughters. Family moments like these are priceless and precious.

I notice that after all these years, some things had never changed in my cousin, even after marrying and having kids. I still notice the "inferiority complex" that's so apparent in her. There wasn't a thing wrong about her: she's good-looking, tall, strong and a great mom. Most of all, she has the most pleasant personality and a warm heart. No thanks to all the upbringing conditioning.

Ever since she was a little girl, she was "slower" in learning, thinking and picking up languages than her peers, and especially compared to her bright and quick younger sister. She was often compared to her sister and was "judged" less intelligent and capable. And she fed on these remarks and grew accordingly. I believe this is the worst type of curse a child could inherit from its parents and family, more than cancer cells. She led her life fulfilling all those prophecies cast upon her...

Let's go back and consider little children. I observed that when my nieces and nephews play, they would often test and go pass every boundary imposed on them, just for the fun of it. And I also suspect, they're curious to see what they CAN really do. Inevitable, their parents would impose "NOs" everywhere. The little ones would know at once where the boundaries are, pause, take a half glance at the "authority" figure, and deliberately break them and see what happens next! I love it!

My wife and I would often give permissions to our nephews and nieces to do and play beyond what they're supposed to, they can climb higher than they're supposed to, swing faster, play in dirty places, scream as loud as their lungs can allow. Needless to say, their parents aren't very happy with us sometimes. But you know what? We still haven't discover where their limits are! They're amazing little creatures.

Sadly, I can foresee the curse cycle repeating all over again. They're gonna be conditioned until they're adults, when they'll stop giving themselves the permission to test boundaries, let alone go pass them. They'll learn they can't have what they want because life is not supposed to be easy, not anymore. More often than not, the new boundaries will be self-imposed. Learned helplessness. The tragedy of life!

The days will come when the light of aliveness in the children's eyes will grow dim as they age. All play will cease. Is there a better choice to live? Why not?

Yesterday, my cousin commented to my wife that I'm so different now from who I used to be. I used to be very much like my dad: cold and indifferent, never make the first move to connect with people. Guests in our house would feel the chill of our presence and get turned off. But now I would greet everyone warmly and initiate the conversations. She was surprised at my change!

I beg to differ. I'm still very much the same cold indifferent guy. A person doesn't just change, I realize that now. In fact, I also realize there is no such thing as "self-improvement" like the thousands of self-help books suggest. The only difference lies in allowing myself to make the choices I want to make, which has made all the difference in the world. I can now choose to do what I wouldn't do long ago, and become who I wasn't, and the beautiful thing is, I don't have to be unhappy about it if not a thing changes! And in the process of doing that, everything changes! And this is an invaluable question to ask yourself (I learned from Michael Neill aka The Supercoach): "What would you want to have if you didn't have to be unhappy about not getting it?" I had to repeat that many times over months before I began to understand what he really meant (you may have to read this paragraph over and over to get it). In short, I can have anything I ever wanted and I can be who I want to be!

I now know that I can't blame my father or my mother or my brother or my sister for who I am and what I do. I can't even blame my own past. I don't have to be unhappy about all that and who I am now. It's all in my conscious choice of what I do. Here and now. And I can allow myself to get what I want. My boundaries are always farther than I usually thought.


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You just shed light to my belief. I better understanding is what i gained.

James Hadley Chase Jr. said...