A purposeful life
We live our lives based on what we know. It makes sense to theorize we manifest experiences that are familiar to us. Having a frame of reference seems to comfort us in times of discord. As children we witness those around us moving through life and innately create schemata which set up blueprints for the future.
This formula works without conscious attention. Growing up in a system sets in motion a file structure to pull from along life’s journey. This is why we have a tendency toward repeating our parents’ mistakes and to a more extreme end; this is why abuse is a generational problem. Children repeat what they live. Without close observation we operate from an undercurrent of past pictures.
Living introspectively is a choice and a lifestyle. Checking in and reflecting on your thoughts and actions lead to a more purposeful way of living. This practice requires courage. It is quite humbling to be still and present with yourself after making a mistake with a loved one or co-worker and deciding there is repair work to do. Even more strength is needed when looking at your shadow side and coming face to face with an undesirable part of yourself. These aspects of human behavior for which none of us want to own or even look at are what keep us imprisoned, endlessly repeating patterns. Once these are uncovered we have a choice to make; we can shove them back into the dark or bring light to these parts of ourselves, forgive and begin the work to release the pattern.
Having an awareness of the layers and complexities of our existence is living life on purpose. To be awake is to truly see oneself and another. It is the road less traveled, but this can change. More of us who choose to live an examined life can inspire and model for generations to come. We are given this experience; it can be as rich and adventurous as you decide it to be. Digging deeper into who you are and how you operate may surprise you as you get closer to your ultimate truth. With time you strengthen the muscle of resilience and the work becomes a part of your routine. The exciting part is, you can do this for the rest of your life and there will always be another layer to uncover.
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.