Growing up, did you ever wish that your parents handled things differently? Maybe you wished they taught or guided you better. Or that they set a better example when it came to handling life situations. As I entered my adult years and developed an identity separate from that of my family’s, I realized there were a lot of things that I didn’t agree with. Some of the values, beliefs, norms, traditions and cultural expectations I was taught didn’t mesh well with my own understanding of life. So, I set out to understand my true identity on a deeper level through meditation and prayer. I began to understand that I was a composition of my family’s teachings and genetic coding. As I meditated more, I realized that I could control, change and manipulate anything about myself that I really wanted too. What I am born with I may not be able to change, such as my DNA, but what I was taught, I could definitely change.
I was conditioned to believe that we are all a product of our environment. I used to believe that how we were raised completely determined our identities. But, boy was I wrong about that! In fact, I am so happy that I was wrong. How do I know that I was wrong? Simple, by choosing to UN-CONDITION myself. I was able to do this in my adult years after learning about the power of conditioning, through courses I took on psychology while in University. I particularly loved Pavlov’s Theory. As I left university and started my married life and began dealing with real life problems as an adult, I realized I didn’t like the person I believed I was. I didn’t like what I stood for, what I fell for, and where I was headed. Something had to change immediately. So I did. I changed everything about myself by admitting to myself that who I was raised to be, is not the same person that I actually am and want to be. I was able to do this by first analyzing my “then” identity make up.
My identity make up contained the teachings and experiences of both my parents. My parents are polar opposites. My mom is an extremist with emotions and quite predictable. When she gets angry or upset it consumes her and she doesn’t know how to handle her emotions. In fact, she allows her emotions to take control and lacks awareness, empathy and becomes extremely defensive. She actively looks for others to blame for her decisions and cannot handle stress. My dad on the other hand has a sensitive soul and is very spontaneous. He has compassion, empathy, sympathy and love for everyone and everything. He is the most patient and positive person I have ever met in my life. He doesn’t allow his emotions to be phased by anything. The world could crash beneath his very feet, yet he still holds his composure. My dad will take the weight of the entire world on his shoulders. And then there is me, the combination of these two polar opposite personalities.
So, now that I am aware of my make up, I can finally control and manipulate those things. I am conscious of the traits that I was born with and the traits that I learned over the years. I am conscious of the positive traits that I want to give attention too and aware of negative traits that I want to lessen. By determining the difference between the things I can and cannot change I take responsibility for my actions. I can now catch myself when I start acting like my mom during stressful situations. Or when I start doing more for others than myself like my dad. Moreover, by putting more attention on my positive traits I can create an identity that is composed of my teachings, my own un-conditioning and my actual genetic coding.
Everything that I grew up believing about my personality was not true. I was angry at my parents for teaching me ways to handle problems that I didn’t like or agree with. I was conditioned into believing certain things about myself and felt hopeless that I couldn’t control or change those things instilled in me through years of training and practice. I now know that I am in control of my life more than I can even imagine. I can choose to behave any way I want to by giving notice to the things I want to change. I can condition or un-condition myself any way I want to. I can change the negative qualities I have and I can concentrate more on my positive traits and follow through with actions to help expose that positivity. Through my un-conditioning I was able to learn what life is all about; learning to trust yourself and your true identity, which you CREATE, not what you just accept as was created for you.
Time to reflect:
Do you feel like what you were taught and raised to believe doesn’t mesh with your vision? Do you feel sometimes your identity is totally different from that of your parents? If you notice negative traits that were passed down from your family, you have the ability to change and control that. If you notice positive traits that were passed down, you can concentrate your attention on that. Whatever it is that you want to do you can condition yourself to do. Whatever negativity that you want to change, that you were raised to accept, you can un-condition yourself to do as well. Don’t just accept things for what they are. Challenge them and yourself. See if you can change yourself into the identity that you really believe is supposed to represent you.