WARNING: Content ahead that makes us think. That’s good, since Ben Franklin said, “If it hurts, it instructs.”
That Important Day
It was 1991 when I told Terry, a marital counselor, about my Upstate New York “home of origin” and family system dysfunction. In that first session, after sharing great detail, I confidently (and foolishly) concluded, “But Karen and I left all that behind when we moved to Minnesota in 1980.”
The truth of Terry’s response still stings:
“You moved from it, John, but you have not escaped it.”
It can take a long time to process our childhood and past—if we ever do. Some folks won’t and don’t because they deny the need. That’s a choice each person has to make. As a fortysomething gal from a family of alcoholics assured me when she returned an unread book I’d loaned her on this topic, “All families have problems. I’m good.”
The Value Of Digging
If healthy digging into our past is to occur, I don’t believe it happens till we’re in our 30s—or beyond. I was 33 when Terry used the 2×4 of truth on me. Little did I know, I had much to come to grips with from my youth. Thankfully, I dug in—and Karen did, too. All that individual digging saved our relationship as we came to understand ourselves and each other better.
Married since June 21, 1980, our marriage is now the best it has ever been.
Digging into my “formative years” and coming to understand the original family forces that affected me also enabled me to create the QBQ! book’s message of Personal Accountability.
I’m grateful for that, but sure wish I’d had QBQ! to use as a teenager!
Parallel Truths Happen
An off phenomenon occurs when truths seemingly in conflict exist side by side. Here’s an example in the form of two questions:
Question 1: Am I completely and totally accountable for each and every choice I make and action I take as an adult?
Question 2: Does my past form the foundation of who I am today?
So, doesn’t that mean it’s worthwhile to do some digging into that past???
The truth is, I must fully own what and who I am today—and all that I say and do—while also exploring my past to understand exactly how it shaped me. And how it is still affecting me today.
I wholeheartedly believe this is what accountable people do.
Of course, if I’d rather not learn, grow, and change to become a better me, I could skip all this emotional and mental work. That, too, is an option.
To dig or not to dig—isn’t that the question? ?
What will you choose to do?
How are you doing today dealing with yesteryear?
What “digging” have you done?
If you’ve done no digging, what has stopped you?
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