Ok, so I’ve introduced you to my “Box Life Lesson” series with the previous blog post of “Is your box a prison.” I am hoping to develop this into a book someday. You have the opportunity to see it now and comment (please) and let me know how you feel about whether I should make it into a book or not. So….
Most of us don’t realize how much our childhood affects our life as a whole. So much so that even our very name has an effect even if only a small one. Our “childhood box” is begun from the very day we are born. How we come into the world, who our parent(s) is/are, where we are born, how much our family has (wealth or lack of), what education level the family has as a base, what we like to eat, our health as a baby and even prenatal, our outward appearance, mannerisms, language, culture, the relationships our parents have with each other, their personalities, all this and much much more affects our little childhood box.
I am often confounded by the attitude that so many have taken. That for some reason, all of our “childhood” experience is to “blame” for our current state. To some extent I’d agree with the statement that it all has an effect. I challenge, however, that it is what defines the individual later in life. My opinion is that ALL of our experiences and All of our choices have to be included in the sum total of what we are or have become. Most of what and who we are is determined by our own choices.
In one of the “Blue Collar Comedy” videos I think it is Jeff Foxworthy that states that for once he would just like to see the individual stop blaming their mom and/or dad for their woes and just state that it is their own d@#* fault. I tend to agree with this. Jimmy Buffet understood this in his song “Margaritaville” when he stated that it was his fault for all his “wastin away again.” What happened to people taking responsibility for their actions and or decisions.
The childhood box does hold influence but it is not the final determination of your “self” as it were. It CAN have the strongest hold but ultimately the choice is yours. You can follow in your fathers/mothers footsteps or you can choose your own path. At the teenage years we start rebelling (younger in many cases) to stretch our wings and “find ourselves” to recreate what we want to choose for ourselves as our own path.
Your roots ARE a part of you. But only a part. The box you have been given at birth and through childhood still has bricks and mortar that you place in your own spaces. Some walls we create in our box at childhood are to hide behind whether for our own self preservation or to prevent someone, anyone from seeing something we wish to hide. Those skeletons in the closets of our box began in the childhood box. Some of us have kept skeletons in those childhood closets inside our box all along. Some of us have cleaned them out. Whether to make room for other skeletons or just to purge ourselves. Hopefully the later. Either way, the closets often remain, waiting, hovering, longing to be used again.
It is not necessary to keep these closets or even the box we began way back when. Many people have gone well past their limitations whether physical or financial or otherwise to define themselves by who they see themselves to be. It is also not necessary to remember all the negative in your life to live a life fully and completely. In fact… it is very important that you let much of the skeletons in the closet go. Let anything go that is holding you back. Holding you from becoming what you want to be. Holding you back from being all that you can be. They are the weights that weight you down and keep you struggling to get free. So why do we hold on to them? Are we afraid that it will make us less than what we are? Are we afraid of having less? Losing something of ourselves? It seems strange to me that we keep maintaining a space in our lives for things that are so self destructive.
What is it that defines who we are? In some ways it IS our past. But more than that, it is the choices we make as a result of the knowledge we have “chosen” to gain or lose as a result. Yes. It is a choice. You can choose to learn or not to learn from your past experience or that of others. Successes, even small ones, are just that. A success. Something to build on. Something to develop. A step. Even if just one. Action is what changes things. Doing something. Being a part. Recognizing your part. Challenging and learning as you go.
Open your mind, your mind’s eye, your life. See the freedom that is waiting. Take responsibility for your actions and your decisions. At the same time… move past them. Do NOT let them be the final maker of you. Let them teach you but learn and choose. Be what you want. You do not have to be what others expect you to be. Just Be.