Friday, December 8, 2006

Die Hard

We learn about the world as children. We watch and observe, listen and process everything that we see around us, the interactions we have, the feelings we feel, the way other people act. We do all this to construct and define our own individual understanding of the world, of human interactions. And we spend the rest of our life fighting against most of these early constructions of meaning, attempting to change them.

It's hard, though. It's a struggle against everything you know and what your insides tell you. How do you redefine what you know as truth?

You build upon these basic foundations, but you measure all new experiences with the rulers of the past, and it's impossible to separate the two. Every experience and every feeling is so interconnected with everything from your past, present and future. The present experience is a result of the past and in turn alters and affects the future. It's a cycle. And when there were misconceptions or unhealthy perceptions that took place in your childhood, well, those bad habits may never be fully broken.

For example, I know that because of my childhood, I don't trust people like I should. It can hurt someone's feelings because they say, "Why would you think I would do that?" And the answer has nothing to do with what I think of them or my interpretation of past experiences with that person. It's just because it's hard for me to trust anyone so because of that, I doubt everyone. I know that I do this. But think I can stop it.

I know that when I get hurt, I shut down and I shut out. I crawl down into myself. Just like I used to do as a child to feel safe. It's not good to do that, I can recognize that it's not a healthy way to deal with conflict or with situations. But I can't stop it.

I'm aware that I do it. I'm aware of why I do it. I'm aware that it's not right and not good. But it still feels good, feels safe. Old habits die hard. So can I stop it?


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