We take specific events from our childhood and create a story around them. However, our interpretation of what happened is partly a work of fiction as we view events through our own limited lens. Notice how different siblings experience their parents and upbringings in vastly different ways.
Our childhood experiences can affect us in a variety of ways. When we repeat the same dead stories to ourselves and others, we trap ourselves into being victims of our past. By living our past forward, we avoid taking responsibility for our future.
Once we grow up, we have the choice to let go of the stories we cling to. Psychologist Dr. James Hillman suggests that the soul wants fiction that heals, and that we should take our personal history literarily rather than literally. This means seeing the depth and mythological proportion of the underlying forces that move the people and actions in our story.
For example, rather than thinking of yourself as a victim of your parents’ dysfunctions, you could think of yourself as someone who has found inner strength, unknown capabilities, and a desire to seek new dreams. You could view your experience of pain and hardship as the way in which you found those strengths and dreams you never knew you had.
Instead of locking yourself into the limits of your past, you can use your creative imagination to look at your life through a new prism. When you change your own stories about your past, you create an opportunity to direct your future. By becoming one who has successfully overcome past challenges, you invite inner strength and vitality and can find your soul’s purpose.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD
Reference: The Landmark Forum.
Resentment: Read “Resentment.”