Some random thoughts from the last few days.
Re-parenting ourselves equals accepting, comforting, supporting and consoling ourselves with empathy, warmth and respect. Warmth and respect for who we are now as well as who we were then. I am not something broken that needs to be fixed, I am someone who can choose to improve his experience of life by giving himself what he gives to others.
Humanity likes predictability and therefore order. We interpret the world by categorising it and us. We create boxes for ourselves, our thoughts, our behaviours and our lives because this feels safe, in the same way that living in a cave made our ancestors feel safe from predators. We can choose to step outside those boxes.
My above thoughts are related to the concept of agency, free will and choice.
I learned not to beat myself up by thinking about how much was beyond my control, my genes, my childhood family, social class and neighbourhood. Those things created so many of the experiences and beliefs that add up to me, that prompt my actions and inactions. There is a lot of truth in that and accepting it was a very necessary and helpful step in improving my life.
It is also a seductive path, allowing me to reject all responsibility, to reject my own agency, reinforcing learned helplessness. Today, I am a grown adult, my own responsibility. My choices are mine to make. I have that power, that right, that responsibility.
Of course, my decisions are the product of my genes, experiences, environment and whatever random connections the brain makes but that is simply an overly verbal description of what makes up me. It is still me making the decisions. If I made the wrong decisions in the past, so what? The reasons why are understandable, making mistakes doesn't reduce my worth as a person.
There is no need to consider whether I believe if either of the concepts of a deterministic universe or free will are true. It simply doesn't matter. What is the difference to me, now? Why not act as if my choices are my own? That I have agency? The alternative is passivity and ennui. I have agency, my choices matter. It feels good to know that.
Wanting to do something and acting on it, that is the definition of agency. I think that many of my past actions were based on things other than wanting.