Every so often I find myself looking back, trying to understand where my beliefs and behavior patterns come from. After all, I am a product of my past, and the people in my past. Awareness is a good thing, and what we do with it is even more important. This is your wake-up call to use the past to propel you forward, to a better place.
You're stressed out. There is no room for rational thought because stress is really fear, and your brain has moved from thinking mode to 'fight or flight.' You're angry, maybe lashing out. In the end, it hasn't been one of your finer moments.
"Who was that person? Did I really do that?" you may ask yourself when it's all over. And that's where the blame and shame game begins, with you. You really did the best you could at that moment. Let go of the guilt that comes from intellectually knowing better and wishing you had responded differently.
Maybe you learned it from your own parents, who were doing the best they could, and they learned it from their parents. For better or for worse, we do what we know how to do. It's a cycle that goes back many generations.
Blaming yourself (and your ancestors) gets you nowhere fast, and can easily become an excuse for those unproductive attitudes and behaviors. What's the solution? Get some help and support from people who have been successful at what you want to accomplish. When you learn better, you do better. You hold the power to break the cycle.
Fern Weis is a parent coach, specializing in supporting parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations (including underachieving, disrespectful behavior, addiction recovery and more). With parent-centered coaching, Fern helps parents release guilt, end enabling, and confidently prepare their children to thrive through life’s challenges. Learn more about coaching and workshops at www.fernweis.com or www.familyrecoverypartners.com.
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