62. Relationship Realities: Do You Create What You Complain About?
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From the minute we are born we begin to absorb everything around us. We watch, we see, we look, then we touch and hear and feel, and slowly we develop a sense of our surroundings.
As we grow and develop, we watch our parents and we watch and observe how they behave, how they react through all sorts of different situations.
We watch and we learn – how to argue, how to express love or disappointment, anger and maybe even sadness.
And through careful observation, we slowly begin to develop a sense of ourselves not only though what we glean via our parents, their relationship, their careers, their friends and our families, but also from our school and from our teachers.
Every experience moulds us. What we are told about ourselves lays the foundation for who we will become.
And what we absorb from the minute we are born, both consciously and most importantly unconsciously, from our childhood – stays with us for the rest of our lives.
Then as adults, when we enter our own relationships we bring what we have learnt, absorbed and gleaned from our parent’s relationship into our own. This process often occurs more unconsciously then consciously.
By the time, we become adults, what we have learnt becomes who we are. Often we don’t give it much thought. We just are who we are.
And by the time we reach maturity, many will have absorbed a huge amount – which we may not always be fully aware of.
But, this does not mean that because we’re not always consciously aware of everything from our past, that it doesn’t exist somewhere within our psyches.
Also, no matter how much we try to escape our past or our parents, often we land up being or behaving in similar ways to that of our parents.
Often you may hear people saying that they can feel their parents within, or that they can feel that they’re becoming their parents or behaving like they did – even if they hated their parent’s behaviour or relationship,
This is because genetically we are similar and what we have absorbed in childhood becomes who we are.
It is almost like we’ve been programmed via our genes and our childhood experiences. But unlike computers we cannot be re-installed.
The most we can hope for is a certain amount of responsible emotional awareness.
And awareness allows us to recognise that not only are we similar to our parents, we also attract partners who may be similar to them too – because birds of a feather flock together and we attract what we know and what is safe. This however, may only become evident over time.
Expecting or attracting a partner that is anything different – can lead to disappointment.
But also, when we choose a relationship what can occur is that what we fear (possibly also from observing our parent’s relationship), we recreate. Or, what we know, we recreate within the relationship – via our behaviour.
And we do this either consciously or unconsciously:
1) Having had an alcoholic parent may mean that even though a non-alcoholic partner is chosen, over time the partner may either start drinking or they may actually begin to display addictive tendencies.
2) But also, we create what we fear by our own behaviour. If we fear that someone will leave, we do things to push them away, until finally we land up on our own.
3) Or, we land up complaining about issues that do not belong to our partners, issues that – ‘do not lie at their feet, but rather our own’.
So we often land up recreating that which we fear – or that which we have not addressed.
And how many times have you heard people say that they could just not stop themselves from behaving in certain ways?
Accepting this can be very hard.
This is when the powerful unconscious reveals itself.
Consequently, many can turn to complaining about their unaddressed issues or situations they find themselves in – because what they fear is within, rather than without.
This is why gaining emotional awareness is so important. Learning to understand our own knee-jerk reactions and behaviour as well as what we may or may not be recreating or setting up, is so important – if we wish not to push people away.
Taking responsibility for our own behaviour is the first step of self-development and self-awareness
We may never get what we think we need. We may never attract the partners we think we want.
But usually we get what we know and what is safe.
Fighting or complaining about this reality – is a waste of time. And complaining about daily stuff is also a waste of time.
Rather, it is far better to learn to understand our past, so that we can learn:
- To accept who we are, warts and all,
- So that we can make better choices, with regards everything we say and do.
- And so that we will complain less about things we cannot change.
Maya Angelou once wrote, “What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. But don’t complain.”
And Criss Jami once said, “Complaining is like crying wolf, if you keep looking for sympathy as a justification for your actions, you will someday be left standing alone when you really need help.”
Complaining, whining or nagging is what victims do. So be careful. Watch yourself. Start asking yourself why you need to complain or rather, what is it doing for you?
You may be surprised when you finally get to the bottom of why you need to complain. But don’t stop until you have the real answer – not the answer that justifies your actions but the answer that explains your emotional state of mind.
© 2017 Information Copyright Deidré Wallace
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