Chances are, if you have parents, you were told something that you cannot let go of. Parents are powerful people. Their beliefs become your beliefs. Even the most well-meaning, kind parents will send you into the world with thoughts and views on the world that may not be your own.
I have a great relationship with my parents. They are wonderful people, and I actually consider them my friends. At 40 years old I’m not holding a grudge. I am, however, becoming more aware of behaviors and beliefs that have been bestowed upon me many, many years ago.
1. “You never finish anything.”
Boy, that one was a stinger. It was dropped by my dad in a conversation, after I quit a job I hated. Apparently he felt that I started and quit too many things as a child. He was probably not wrong with this belief. Of course, my dad’s words were powerful words, and I think I was subconsciously trying to live up to those expectations. Sticking with something is still difficult for me to do, even if I love them, though I’m much better about it now. And my parents are super proud of their daughter, regardless of what’s been said so many years ago.
2. “Your ideal weight for your height is 150lbs.”
This one’s a bit tougher. I grew up with a mother who was always very conscious of her weight and any fluctuations of it. I recall her stepping on the scale every day, reducing calories, when she gained a couple of pounds, and lamenting her soft post-pregnancy belly. The message I received as a young girl was that I looked nicer when my face was thinner, and that I should always strive to be skinny. None of these things were said in a rude way. My mom did what she did, because she felt strongly about it. And I understand it! Over the decades I remember many conversations over our body weight, diets, gaining too much weight, the frustration of dieting, and for the longest time I felt I had to somehow compete with her. Not that she ever said so, but even without the exact words, I felt in my heart that she hoped I would stay skinny. She was thrilled beyond words, when I lost a lot of weight after going paleo.
The weight gain I experienced over the past year has been so frustrating to me, because all I wanted was for my mom to be proud of how skinny I was. It didn’t matter that I also got strong. It didn’t matter that my thyroid was acting up… or should I say, not acting enough. In my mind, I am not beautiful enough when I weigh “too much”. The number 150 is still calling to me, even though, after three years of CrossFit, I really shouldn’t even dream about going back to that weight. I am 6 feet tall!
Let me make it very clear once again, that this is not a Mom shaming post. I love my mom dearly, and I lay no blame on her at all. This is about my inability to let go of old beliefs. I need to find peace once and for all. I need to let go. And yes, I need to love and appreciate my body no matter how big or small it may be. In my world that is a tall order, but I also know, it is very possible to get there.
How about you? What old beliefs and behaviors are holding you back from finding real happiness?