I’m not a psychologist, psychiatrist nor do I profess to be one. However, I did major in Social Science, and have made some observations based on things people have stated to me, and wanted to share.
Personally, I’m not one to look back on childhood and ponder all the mistakes I think my parents made in life. It’s not who I am. As a parent, I realized on DAY ONE of bringing that small baby home that I didn’t have a clue. There are no handbooks or guides that are sent down by God to tell you how to raise this particular person with this particular personality. The point is that everyone comes into the world as a different human being and maybe the parents you’re delivered to might be so different from you that perceptions in life as to how things transpired might be off from both points of view. In other words, I could have four children with four different personalities, and each of those children will grow up with different views on how life was with the same parents.
Not only are our views formed by what we perceive as children with our parents (or lack of), but regarding how we think we are perceived by society. There were very few, confident teenagers among the crowds, and groups were often joined to feel a part of something. I’m putting things in a small nutshell because to really examine every aspect of people’s lives would require books, pages, and a lot of research, but I’m coming down to this point: if we can’t get past the hump of how we let others define us or over our perception of our parents (regardless of whether it’s just a perception or fact), then what happens in terms of our overall living style for the future?
First: there are parents who have mental disabilities and problems, but I’m talking about people who had a relatively normal (whatever that means) environment that pick it apart for years or don’t even understand how an underlying perception or fact might overshadow the very way the person lives in a home.
Let’s say you believe that, all through childhood, people thought you were a loser. What does this do to how you’re living? Does your personality dictate that you go out and change who you are to prove them all wrong? Do you fall into the trap of believing what you think these perceptions are and dictate your life according to what you believe society thinks of you? Do you destruct everything promising based on what you believe about yourself? Maybe not….
Now, here’s something to think about: did your perceptions lead you to become a more creative person with ingenuity? You just looked at that question, and it made you stop. Did you feel you were so undeserving in life that this feeling opened up something within you to manage with less? Did it teach you how to be wise with your money? Did you become frugal because you felt you didn’t deserve a brand new jacket or pair of shoes? Did you learn how to can and jar vegetables because you felt you should work hard to save a dime? Did you sew your children clothes in order to get by? Did you figure out how to make more than one dinner out of one chicken due to a fear of running out of money from past experiences?
And, the last question (this will be to those who have been around for awhile): did your abilities for creativity, ingenuity, frugality make you proud of yourself? Did you realize that it made you humble? Did you realize that your developed talents made you special? Most of all: did you realize that everything you ever experienced in life made you who you are today? Your story is one of success. You survived. You found ways to survive that others might never have thought about…and you did it because you actually climbed over that hill of self doubt despite not even realizing it. Congratulations because everything you ever thought the world saw in you was wrong. It’s time to take a new look in the mirror and see that things aren’t always as they seem and that perceptions of your own self may have clouded your own judgment of you.