Recently, I’ve been spending time in Missouri (middle of the US), visiting family.
[This is my grandmother. I’ve written about her in some recent articles: The Lighthouse Effect | My Grandmother. The Change Maker]
It has been a time to become closer with my grandmother, and father.
It has been a time to connect with how my origins influence me to this day.
It has been a time of great insight, of who I am being as I navigate life.
Last weekend, my good friend flew in to see me for the day.
We spent part of our day enjoying nature and the forest of the midwest.
From there, I took her on a tour where she viewed the home I grew up in the majority of the time.
I showed her my route to and from school.
And I showed her the small town where I found myself causing and creating trouble a lot, in my youth.
Along our drive, I was telling one story after another about my life. How I grew up. And how my origins influenced who I am today.
I shared stories of the good. And I shared the stories of challenge.
As we were coming to the end of our drive, and back to where we began, I had a realization.
I realized that, for the first 18 years of my life, I lived within a loop that was approximately 17 miles in diameter. And there are three primary roads that take me around it.
This loop included my home, school, both parents (for part of it), and my siblings that did not live with me.
This loop included all the jobs I held until I left the area.
This loop also contained a lot of mental stories that I have carried with me over the years.
As I reflected on this realization, I noticed that the physical representation of my youth had not changed much. But the stories of these places have changed completely.
The stories being what I tell myself about Callaway County, Missouri, and everything within it. The stories that had me fleeing and running away at 18, evolved.
The mental loops that kept me running away from my roots, have been falling away.
My life story began here.
Everyone’s life story begins somewhere. The challenge is not seeing those perpetual mental loops that still remain.
Some may be useful and support the creation of an enriching and rewarding life. But, some may create discord and a sense of being in a state of defense, unease, or an overall feeling of being disconnected from life.
Some of my old narratives had me dehumanizing myself, because of my origins. I held shame about where my life began. And then to take that further, I held shame about considering a different life than what I knew.
It was a beautiful moment of appreciation when I connected to seeing the loops of my life. Those that still exist. And those that have fallen away or been altered.
For the first 18 years, my primary loop was geographical.
The mental loops I carried with me from those years have been all over the place.
They have been carried into…
Exploring new cultures,
Trying on clothes
Buying a car
Saying ‘I love you’
And being engaged
These loops can go everywhere with us. And often do.
As I said, some can offer great ease, relaxation, enjoyment and peace. Though, many can create tension, distrust, and a feeling of never being fully grounded in your life.
You may feel disconnected, and as if something just isn’t right.
It’s in the seeing of the loop that we begin to bring the possibility of mental intervention.
(Not to be confused with a surprise ‘party’ where everyone is ready to take you somewhere you may not want to go)
The content of our thinking is not as important as the impact it has on how we feel, treat ourselves, and impact those around us.
Seeing the loop for what it is, a loop, we can begin the process of altering it.
There’s the possibility that it can completely fall away. Or, it can be adjusted to consider new information that was once not available.
In doing this, we open the door to feeling a new way about ourselves and life, and how we go about creating it.
That has been the case for me.
During my time here in Missouri, I’ve observed the old loops that have fallen away. I’ve also seen those that still exist, and that I am focused on altering.
And I’ve created some new connections to my origins that have me appreciating my early years. I grew a greater appreciation for my family, and the place from which I was born.
I’m seeing many gifts experienced in my life now, that were birthed from my many years here. For that, I am grateful.
As we wrap up our conversation for today, is there a loop in your mind that has been playing, that is ready to change?
Maybe the loop you are aware of is mental, or a loop playing out in your life, that may seem a bit like the movie Groundhogs’ Day.
Either way, becoming privy to the way you are ‘doing’ life, and the source of its creation, is the starting point. From there, you can begin to understand what is keeping it alive, and focus on the changing of it.
If you would like some support, I’m happy to spend some time with you focused on creating a shift.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org / message me directly.