Saturday, January 5, 2019


We used to have a white mutt of a dog named Zeddie. He was a pretty pitiful dog, but was deeply loved by our family. He was a rescue through another family and it become clear to us early on that he had been abused as a puppy. He become part of our family when he was no more than two years old and yet the abuse he suffered had an impact on him for the rest of his life. He would cringe whenever strangers came around and even acted fearful of us on occasion. No matter how much we continued to love him he still struggled with those base fears that had been imprinted on him when he was younger.

I don't think it's that different for people either. The negative experiences we have in our family of origin, previous relationships, and unhealthy work environments imprint a response on our souls that is difficult to change. Perhaps the most difficult part of our own lifelong education is in un-learning negative patterns, reactions, and assumptions. Like any other lasting change we want to make in our lives this won't happen accidentally. We have to decide to learn not to respond in emotionally unstable ways, not to drift back into destructive habits, and not to flinch every time we approached.

This isn't alway a simple process, but there are some key things we can do to get moving in the right direction.

  • Get out of the unhealthy situation: when things are toxic you need to step away for your own safety
  • Recognize your negative reactions: increase your self-awareness and see where your past experiences are influencing your present behaviors
  • Swap in healthy responses: start changing out fearful, reactionary responses with ones that bring peace to your soul
  • Deal with your grief: meet this head-on as you'll need to address what's happened to you instead of burying it deep and hoping it goes away
  • Move forward: this sounds easier than it actually is and will take longer than you want it to take.
We won’t get it right the first time or every time, but we will get better as we travel this pathway to healing and learn new ways of living fully.

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