think. grow. inspire. Fridays with Michelle Collins
So, as I usually do around this time each week, I was wondering what to write about for my column. As I thought about it, I decided to have a cup of tea, so I got a cup from the cupboard, put a teabag in it and poured in the hot water. Then I squeezed the teabag between my spoon and the side of the cup, took the teabag out, and promptly placed it on the side of the sink…just like my mother used to do. The funny thing is that my grandfather used to do the same thing because he was saving the teabag to use again, and it used to make my mom crazy!
Then I remembered the video I made this week, talking about parenting and how we all say that “I will never do that when I have kids” and of course, we always do, because when we are stressed, or don’t know what else to do, we fall back on the thing we know, that thing that we have picked up by watching others around us do the same.
The book “The Four Agreements” talks about how we are “domesticated” by learning habits from the adults around us. We trust them so strongly, that their beliefs become ours, their words become ours and their habits become ours. In order to change these habits, we first have to recognize the influence they have had on our lives. At the Work of Heart event, Cearagh Vessey spoke about watching her parents display very “traditional gender roles” where her mother worked outside the home and then took on the job of feeding everyone and then cleaning up after while her father watched tv in the living room. Cearagh swore that she would not do that as an adult, and never gave it much more thought. Then she was in a relationship and found herself getting angry when she had to wash the dishes, and couldn’t make sense of where the feelings were coming from. Her boyfriend challenged her to look at why she was feeling angry, and she recognized that the feelings were created from her experiences watching her mother.
I’m reminded of a story I heard about a young wife who would always cut the end off the roast before putting it in the pan to cook, when her husband asked her why, she said it was what her mother had always done. The next time the family was gathered together, they asked the mother about the way she prepared the roast, and she replied that it was because that was what her mother had always done. So of course, they asked grandma, and she replied she cut the ends off because she never had a pan big enough to fit the roast she was cooking.
So, my challenge to everyone, myself included, is to look at the way and the why you do what you do, and find out if it is by choice or by habit. If the thing is working for you, then great, keep doing it! But if it is not, then make a plan to do something different, and share that plan with others so that you can have their support when you are tempted to fall back into old patterns. Take charge of your life, and take responsibility for your choices, and your reactions, and have a wonderful week! ThinkGrowInspireFriday and everyday!