Photo By E. Rachel Thompson
One of the main premises in my book is that, we don’t always understand what it is about our own thinking that is the culprit. We don’t want to accept that at times, we make decisions that hinder and sabotage those very same goals for which we strive. How does someone who works so hard towards an objective actually “choose” to make a debilitating decision? Perhaps a bit of explanation may provide some interesting insight. Allow me to give a personal example.
When my 22-year marriage came to an abrupt end, I needed to find out what was wrong with me. Fortunately I found a great therapist. In fact, my trust level was so high that I went to the initial sessions with expectations of “Tell me what I need to do! What books should I read? I’m a great listener and I’ll do nearly anything you ask.” No doubt I was determined to fix what was wrong with me. But this was EXACTLY the problem. I was seeking the answers from someone else. I needed him to tell me what to do because I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t trust own judgements. I didn’t understand my own thinking was the major contributor to not just my marriage but many other aspects. Most of my life was spent thinking I wasn’t worthy enough to find those answers from within and because it had gone on for decades, it seemed “normal”. Once there is a normal or natural feel to something, there is no need to fix it.
Society often promotes this kind of reasoning which makes overcoming it more difficult. As children, we are constantly barraged with negative ideas and thoughts from others and when those words come from someone we trust, they contribute to more psychological damage. As adults, if we do not work to overcome these detrimental influences, they will continue to impact us and cloud our judgement ultimately hurting ourselves.
I don’t believe for one second that people who appear to be “stuck” and can’t seem to find the answers, want to be in the dark. People want to do the right thing but when they are unsure, sometimes inaction seems more appropriate than the wrong action. Confusion is not fun for anyone; we all want to think clearly and realizing it could be our own thinking that is the stumbling block could be a great first step.
Here’s another interesting thought. When you read the first paragraph, what came to your mind. Were you thinking, “yes, I know someone just like this” or were you reflecting on yourself to see if it were something you faced? If you think you know someone with this issue then my suggestion is that you look at yourself. It’s always easier to see the other person’s difficulties but self-growth is not about fixing someone else. If you are growing, then you are not the same person you were a year ago. Very possibly not even the same a month ago, or perhaps even a week. We are constantly changing so instead of “being who you are”, perhaps the journey should be to seek who we are and what we will become.
My book, Shame On Me – Healing A Life Of Shame-Based Thinking, is available on the Amazon US website (click here for the link). I also want to thank E. Rachel Thompson for the photograph and as always, your comments are appreciated.