In the May 1953 issue of the Science of Mind magazine, Raymond Charles Barker wrote: “I am not conditioned by my childhood; I am conditioned only by my present thinking. What I have been does not necessarily indicate what I should be or what I should be and shall be. I create no false glamorization of my past, but my recognition of the Now is potent with possibilities. My present world is good.”
Barker’s words are engaging and evoke curiosity.
I stopped to think for a moment. Do I glamorize the past? Have I let my childhood experiences influence my present life?
I used to be quite fond of explaining my beliefs and points of view on what happened to me in childhood. However, it wasn’t just what happened, it was what I made it mean!
I read about two boys raised by the same abusive, violent father. One turned out to be an abusive, raging alcoholic; the other turned out to be a strong yet gentle citizen. When asked if their childhoods influenced their adult lives, they both said the same thing: “I had no choice. If you had known my father you would understand why I turned out the way I did.”
I likely did explain my beliefs and actions based on my childhood experiences. Yet things happened.
I made decisions about what they meant.
I started to write about a big disappointment I had as a three-year-old child who was so excited to see a real princess that she couldn’t get to sleep the night before Princess Elizabeth was coming to Saskatoon as part of her Canadian tour. However, that incident simply illustrates the consequences for a child who would have been tired and cranky after the parade.
Mary Morrissey tells us to, “Notice what you are noticing.” I decided it was time to stop dragging that old thing around.
We notice what we are thinking about so we can make better, healthier, happier choices in the future.
I was blessed to live in a home where there was always enough food and enough love.
I was blessed to live in a home in which people sang together on car trips, played cards together while visiting extended family, worshiped together every Sunday, and were expected to respect my parents as well as the other adults in the community.
Yes, I experienced disappointments. Looking back at the disappointments, I have come to understand that within each painful situation, there was a beautiful gift which has helped me live better.
I am so grateful for my family — for the way we were and the way we are now.
Michael Bernard Beckwith affirmed: “I am available to more good than I’ve ever imagined. I set myself free with self-love and appreciation!”
Let’s affirm it together.