03 Sep Find the dots
First you will want to think about an event from your past that you think is still impacting you today.
For example, I am afraid of dogs. When I was 4, my neighbors’ large mutt bit me because I chased a ball into their yard. I’ll never forget it. It hurt to high heaven.
Or, you may not have awareness yet of your fear of dogs. You may just live with this fear like you live with the habit of biting your nails until one day someone says, “Name a scary experience from your life.” And you think, When I was 4, my neighbors’ large mutt bit me because I chased a ball into their yard. I’ll never forget it. It hurt to high heaven. And then a lightbulb goes off and you think, OMG! I am afraid of dogs.
Either way you discover the dots and you link your past with your present, the end result is the lightbulb moment – the insight. The insight shall set you free! Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves…. one step at a time.
Your tools for finding the dots: courage and honesty
Courage to just go there – to think about a past event that was scary or worse. Like the courage it would take to contemplate the question, “What happened to you when you were younger that really upset you, scarred you, scared you? What event comes to mind when you feel sad or lonely?”
Honesty to say it like it was – it hurt to high heaven. Sometimes we can turn things around and blame, but to be honest can sometimes mean taking some responsibility as well – I chased a ball into their yard. At other times, as a child you don’t have any responsibility in the situation at all, but our desire for things to have been different can make us feel guilty or shamed. When the past event is really painful, it can help to look at it from a new angle and discover, He was the adult in the situation. He should never had done that to me. He was wrong, not me. Honesty allows us to look at a situation with less guilt and more clarity.
The lightbulb: Insight
Insight is when you can apply those past experiences to your self today. You can connect personality traits or characteristics to the experiences you had in the past- Because of that experience, I am afraid of dogs.
And you may just be fine with knowing from where the fear came. You may just say to yourself, Oh that makes sense now. I get it and that’s that. It may make you feel a little bit better about yourself, and that’s all you wanted. Cool.
OR, you may think, Well, I don’t want to be afraid of dogs anymore. I don’t want that experience to negatively impact me forever. If that’s the case, you can now take steps to changing how you feel about dogs. The choice is up to you.
Do you see how finding those dots helps make you develop insight into who you are now and why?
In the next post you will learn how connecting those dots can empower you to set your goal, make a plan and use some discipline to make change for the future – if you choose.
When have you used courage recently? What was the situation? How did it help you be a better person?