Family history colors how we interact with the world. We take in the stories we read and hear through the lens of what we have been exposed to through our family, it’s what we know. Similarly, our sense of security and trust --the ways in which we understand, feel and show our love-- are all made up of lenses we constituted as children. Our adult lenses are colored by the lenses our own parents modeled for us as children just as our children's lenses will be colored by what we model for them. These lenses affect everything.
The romantic partnerships we are drawn to. How we value and respect ourselves, or don’t. How we raise our children and how they learn to value and respect themselves, or don't. Who they are drawn into romantic partnerships with. How we interact with our communities and the world. How we negotiate stress and what we find soothing.
When we honor and understand the lens our child self grew into we are more equipped for lens updates. If instead we go through our adult lives without reference (or reverence) to our child selves we continue to miss opportunities to update lenses that no longer serve us well.
My husband has a way of reflecting me back to myself. He’s fine tuned the art of it. Sometimes he can catch me before I catch myself and give me an opportunity to reflect before I speak.
“If you say it, they will learn it”
He knows me well enough to help me recognize the stuff we don't want to pass down to our daughters. Those internal momologues on why I am not good enough. He's my reflection and I'm grateful for him. He helps me tune into myself and update my lens before I model it to our girls.
To grow is hard work, it’s one’s life long project. Maturing, deepening connections and (hopefully) passing down updated lenses to our future generations. It's doable, but can often be met with resistance. I find that making these updates is easier when we have a reflection so we can better see ourselves.
Partnership makes life easier.
We don't have to do it all alone. This is the work of relationships. We grow together. We help and support one another. We evolve together. It's a process of growth and deepening awareness and receptivity over the years. Enjoy the rewards of growth, it helps make future obstacles easier. Growing together makes life easier.
Sometimes though our relationships shut down. You've probably experienced that. I believe it is a rite of passage of all relationships. It's bound to happen and when it does it offers us an opportunity to tune back into one another, and ourselves. If only we can stay with the process.
The path of becoming who we want to be.
Understanding our legacies and sharing our awareness with another offers us access to intimacy and connection. As we deepen our awareness of our own legacies we cultivate compassion and develop our own unique compass for growth. Understanding what makes us who we are allows us to create more space for our own growth, maturation and evolution.
We often shut down before we have an opportunity to observe, understand and grow. We shut down because we don't feel safe. Because something from our past resonated with something that just happened in a way that didn't feel good. Once fear enters into our memories we freeze, or run or fight and our relationships stagnant. We stay stuck in old stories! To sustain openness and connection we must feel safe.
Our motivation is driven by either compassion or fear.
The choice between the compassion and fear; that can be hard to see. Especially when the compassion and fear we struggle with is internal. When our motivation is colored by those outdated lenses. Begin by being curious around your own defenses and wonder about why they are up. Take pause. Notice. I refer this to as cultivating curiosity.
This may be too much to do alone. That's OK. Remember partnership makes life easier. You don't have to do this alone. I can help you create a safe space and teach you how you can adjust your lenses and rediscover the intimacy you really want.
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