This article provides a starting point for you as you begin your journey in search of a new direction for your life or your career. It sets the tone for all of the actions to follow. It reminds us that a healthy understanding of our past life patterns is a prerequisite to an effective transition into the future. While it does not suggest we dwell in the past, it does encourage us to look carefully at past situations to determine which situations have resulted in the greatest gains and which have resulted in less than positive outcomes. It helps us identify which of our actions should be repeated and which should be avoided in the future.
You will be invited to participate in a series of games, assessments, and self-discussions designed to stimulate your personal introspection, encourage examination of life patterns, examine causes for failure, and project the actions needed to ensure future success.
EXPLORING SELF-AWARENESS is meant to lay a foundation for you to become aware of the way you have made up your mind about yourself. This exploration into self-image, self-concept, and self-esteem can, then, open the doors for you to upgrade your respective ideas about who you are and what you can accomplish.
The goal is to establish a way for you to upgrade and update a self-evaluation. We can stop the pain of our own attacks upon ourselves. We can begin to nurture the positive skills and attitudes that are within each of us. We can begin to feel worthy and capable just by the way we view ourselves. We can be a hero to ourselves, a big person capable of big things.
We begin this part of our Life Skills Adventure in the past because so much of who we are today is shaped by what has happened to us in the past. We have learned how to act, what to believe, and how to feel. For the most part, our experiences have helped us become good, healthy, and happy people; however, there are troubling bits and pieces from our past that might get in the way of allowing us to be who we truly want to become.
As we go forward, we will recognize the value of the past and recognize the value of other people who have influenced the shaping of our personalities. We will also explore the parts of our past that have hurt us, and we will use this opportunity to heal old wounds. We will think about the world and family we grew up in and how our families helped or hurt us. We will see how we modeled ourselves in the image of our parents and how we have formed our self-image from what they said about us.
We will then see how we have protected ourselves from the hurts of our past. We will come to recognize how our current problems, fears, and limitations are still tied to past experiences. Though this may bring some painful memories, our goal is to use this exploration to heal and remove the limiting influence of the past.
After thinking about the following paragraphs, examine the information about your past. Sharing this information about yourself is encouraged and it could prove to be helpful.
“Where do you come from?”
You are invited to share your background, how you grew up, some of the things for which you are grateful, and some of the parts of your past you feel might have had some negative effect on you. Share with someone you trust – take enough time to share about some of what was most important to you. While you are sharing, the person you trust, in many ways, may know and understand what you have gone through. Many people feel uncomfortable about sharing their past. They carry shame, embarrassment, and fear into the present. If this is difficult for you, you may want to write a story of your past.
It is helpful to remember that now is the present. Whatever happened does not have to keep upsetting you. Now is the time for you to begin to write a NEW story. So, once you get the story of the past out, you can get to work on a new chapter.
Let’s continue this discussion in our next issue, please join me. △