The far past does affect the present
No matter what the challenge is, it is the small day to day choices, which over time become a habit that will often dictate if the goal is achieved. It is easy to see how a friend or co-worker can sabotage their lives by their ingrained habits of relating and reacting in life, more difficult, almost impossible to see it in our own lives.
When someone asks the question “why do I always end up here”, it usually happens because there is nothing else to be done. It is easy to ponder why others treat us the way they do. Harder to seek to understand ‘what am I doing to cause these reactions’. It can stop one in his or her tracks when that question becomes a reality that has to be dealt with.
The far past does affect the present. Authority issues, how we deal with the opposite sex, our families and friends, even how we drive, be it defensive or offensive, often has its roots in a past that may not even be remembered. I guess that is one reason that human growth is often a very slow and exhausting enterprise. I do know one thing, to not seek self understanding is to stay locked into a world view that can be a prison, leeching life of vitality and for many as the years pass, can cause emotional isolation. I do not believe that people grow old gracefully by accident; it is based on many hidden choices over the years that slowly become a way of life. It is called virtue, the ability to take oneself out of the position of being the center of the universe and actually seeing others and loving and listening to them.
It is not a matter of getting it all together; maybe it is the process that leads us to be comfortable with the fact that we don’t have all our ducks in a row. Inner balance can be achieved for a short time, then things fall apart and a new beginning opens up for us. It may seem like we are traveling the same route over and over again, yet if we ask the right questions, have humility, which is the ability to accept the truth about ourselves without makeup; then there is movement forward. It is when the illusion is believed that the ‘being all together’ has been achieved that real trouble can start, at least on the relational level with others.
We are all teachers, all learners; all failures, as well as being stronger, braver and better than we perhaps know or understand. We learn from others by listening to how they react to us, in doing that those around us become teachers and healers. In the process of seeking to learn, we become healers as well. We either help others to grow, or we hinder them. If we don’t seek self understanding, more often than not we may hinder more than we think.
When it us understood how difficult it is to grow and change. How often the starting over has to be done…. that deeply felt reality leads us to have more patience with others, who have the same sort of struggles. A good way of looking at it is this: We all need others to patient with us, to show us mercy and forgiveness and understanding.
Those we know and love, those we don’t, who we just meet on the way, need the same thing. To treat others as we would like to be treated can only be accomplished after we come to the understanding of how we would actually want that to come to pass.