When I was four. I killed my sister’s dog. She was tiny. I made her go down some stairs that she couldn’t manage. She fell and died.
I was four. I think. Somewhere around there. But that doesn’t matter. I killed a dog. It became who I was. The guilt, shame, loss, all became my identity. I have no memory of what my family did. I don’t remember how I reacted. All I knew is I was someone who killed a dog. And that person is bad. And so I was bad.
We all have moments in our childhood that define us. We may not even have a memory of them. And, logically, you think, ‘well, it just happened once, why is it so important?’
Yes, a defining event may have happened only once. But we forget that we add 10, 20, 30, 40 years of reinforcement to that event. It’s not direct. It’s not on purpose. It is not something we are even aware of. But it changes our point of view. The perspective that all other acts are seen from. The filter on our lens has names like: bad, selfish, undeserving, unworthy. And that becomes from where we act for the rest of our lives if we don’t catch it. If we don’t consciously change that perspective.
As a child, unless you have a fabulous other human next to you to help you process an event, you just don’t have the ability to do it for yourself. Therefore events stay unprocessed. They stay as a definition of our identity.
As adults we get to change that. That change can show up in many forms: therapy, meditation, a profound book, yes, tarot coaching 🙂 , a conversation with a friend. (Landmark is fabulous for this, btw)
When I was younger, I found the idea of those memories defining us ridiculous. Only when I started to see how everything got changed, how everything was compounded by future action, did I start to get it. I got how I made an event mean something about me, then I carried that definition for 40 years. It’s that important. And letting go is even more important.
It’s work that has to be done. It is too difficult to live your life from the standpoint of undeserving, unworthy, etc. For joy and abundance to show up, truly, the best way to get there is change your lens filter, change your viewpoint, turn around and move forward from a place of deserving and worthiness.
(Yes, this is the second or third time I have written about this. It is that important for me to remember and stay present to…)