To the ones that feel lost, despite making it to the necessary checkpoints in life. To my people who feel almost like you don’t know how to ‘be’.
This is something that’s come up between myself and a number of desis in my life (some friends, others family, and a few clients), all ranging in age from mid/late 20s to early 40s.
We’ve come to the conclusion that no one really teaches you how to ‘be’. We learn social rules and cultural norms. We learn how to do things and complete tasks. We are taught so many things from the moment we have any sense of understanding, but we never really talk about the ‘being’ in ‘human being’.
For example, we learn that we will be someone’s spouse, but no discussion about the changes this will bring to our personality/character/being takes place. We learn that we will be someone’s parent but aren’t taught about the inner work that will accompany this. I would have loved to have had a conversation about how pivotal an event becoming a parent is. That I would be learning how to reparent myself, while also learning how to parent my child.
And I mean on the most basic level – like learning to understand and view my child as a being in and of themselves, instead of as an extension of me.
When you get into the work, you realize that it is only on the surface that this is basic. But then you begin to see the subtle ways your reactions aim to appease your environment, instead of responding to the child before you – and then you realize just how deep an issue this is.
And to my non-parent/caregiver desis, I see you.
Have you finally come to the point in your life where you too, are successful visually and/or on paper, but there’s this nagging sense of misalignment? Do your thoughts include, I went to school… I got the job… I’m making ‘good money’, then what is this ‘off’ feeling I can’t seem to shake?”
If so, keep reading.
Let me tell you why this is a universal problem.
We start off as a child to a set of parents who in essence are playing a real-life game of house. They too were likely never taught about what it means to ‘be’.
Mom took on her role.
Dad took on his role.
And they go on to create the real-life version of, “You have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in the kitchen. What’s your problem?”
And now you’re perusing articles on the web, wondering why – with a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in the kitchen – you feel the way that you do.
Therein lies the problem. Looking at this in the simplest way, our people (but not just our people) are guilty of rearing generation after generation of people who are so focused on the doing, that they completely miss, or deliberately overlook the being part.
How do we break the cycle?
By becoming aware of and reflecting on the parts of us, that so badly want our attention.
Not only does this promote healing and growth within us, but we become better able at not taking the words and behaviors of others personally. We understand that everyone is doing life from their vantage point.
So, no we aren’t sitting here blaming our parents – and we also aren’t being held hostage by feelings of ineptness, because we weren’t validated and raised in alignment with our particular composition.
We are taking the time and knowledge the generations before us did not have, and are doing the work to reconnect with ourselves. Committing to personal healing and growth is a win-win for everyone because it allows you to see every experience and interaction as an opportunity to level up. You find yourself either acknowledging and praising yourself or becoming aware and improving yourself.
My clients and I have had huge success writing things down as a way to gain clarity and awareness of the underlying things that subtly show up in our experiences and interactions. It’s the first step to healing. And you’ll know the things worth making note of and exploring because, despite their subtle nature, they will find a way to get your attention… like the next (not so subtle) line in this piece…
Ethnic kids live at home, and they pay rent with their mental health.
Would you agree?
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I heard this being said by someone, somewhere on the internet – and the sheer number of people who agreed with this statement was surprisingly unsurprising.
Our parents and relatives did the best they could, and now’s our chance to write a different story.
Our mental health is worth investing in – be it an investment of time, money, or both.
If you’re curious about how a Life Coach can help you commit to personal healing and growth and swap in the being for all the doing you’ve been doing, get in touch.
Nina is a former Social Worker (MSW), turned SAHM, turned certified Life Coach — and coming this fall, a children’s book author. She is committed to helping parents connect with the kids they have, and heal the kid they once were. Her loves include; her daughters, their cat, leggings, nature, cooking, baking… and pizza!