“If you want to be yourself as you dream, you have to take out the rubbish that you learned which is not yours.”—Moshe Feldenfrais
Wow, that is awesome! I think, in so many ways, that is the essence of getting mentally and emotionally healthy, something I think we all struggle with as part of the human condition, the whole reason for the serenity prayer.
I know that growing up, I took on a lot of rubbish that wasn’t mine. Somehow I thought that if I somehow did something different, it would make things better. People would be happier. Maybe my mom would quit crying so much and drinking herself to sleep after screaming at me for an hour or two, during which time I was supposed to stand there and listen with no expression, and saying how it was my fault she was miserable and going to kill herself. (She did eventually stop drinking, but not because of me; she did it for herself.) Maybe my brother would stop beating me up and making me take the fall for all his delinquency. (He eventually moved away, and finally left me alone after I showed I could hold my own.) Maybe my dad would give a shit if I were just smarter, prettier, thinner, more accomplished. (He never gave a shit and I just had to accept that.) Then, there were the beliefs that I accepted, that weren’t really mine, or accurate. Like the belief that people who allegedly loved me were supposed to be happy with me or there was something wrong with me. (Hmm, wonder where I learned that one.) Or that somehow I was neither beautiful nor worthy. Or that maybe if I just did enough for people in my life, they would see my efforts and reciprocate.
But experience has taught me to question my beliefs. Quite often things enter into our belief system from other sources like family, peers, society, etc., that really don’t work and get in the way of the pursuit of dreams. Thank goodness I eventually figured out that my mother was unhappy because she hadn’t dealt with her own lack of self-esteem and other issues, my brother was a bully because he could be, and my father is an asshole. And it had nothing to do with me. They developed those issues quite on their own, thank you. Freedom from responsibility for things I did not cause and can not fix in others frees me up to work on my own junk. It also gives me the freedom to love them in spite of their flaws. I can take the parts of their communication that pertain to me and accept them while filtering out the rest. Kind of like going through the lost and found, and retrieving my own jacket, while leaving behind the thirty-two other jackets, sweaters, stocking caps, and goodness knows what else other people have left behind.
Taking out the rubbish doesn’t mean having to leave out the people who don’t support us completely or who may try to get us to take on their junk. It just means reaching within and being centered enough to not let the toxic weeds of discontent take root. After all, to become our best selves, we have to have the energy to dream and stretch and grow. So, take a deep look inside yourself today and ask; is there garbage I need to take out, so I can have the energy and balance to move toward becoming that person that I dream to be?