Two words that raise a red flag for me are Always and Never. They alert me that the speaker, even when it is myself, is about to tell a story. That story is a construct, a myth that we have built to support something that is not true. It is something we may use as lore, a basis for decisions and support who we want to be as opposed to who we really are… regardless it is not true.
Let me explain. Rarely if ever does something organically always or never happen to us without our influence. If I were to flip a coin it roughly comes out 50/50, I say roughly because every study has outliers where things go awry. When something always or never happens to us we are the common denominator. Let me say that again because it is important, we are the reason for our Always and Nevers. We have architected something to always or never happen to reinforce a belief we hold, a story we tell ourselves that is false.
Our choices and behaviors feed that Always and Never monster, but we have control of those choices. If these choices and behaviors are something we are not happy with, we need to look underneath the surface at our beliefs about ourselves, others and our past, especially our family of origin. What myths and stories were told to us about who we were in our childhood that might not be true, or we have outgrown? What outdated works-self story have we told ourselves that is no longer true? What projection of others have we believed that there is no evidence for or that was manufactured to manipulate us?
By tuning our ears to hearing the Never and Always leads us to question what really is going on, what is true and real. Listening for these red flags allows us to peer into the windows of ourselves and others. It can give us some idea of what is causing friction and discomfort in ourselves in that who we think we are or shouldbe is misaligned with our true self. It is that misalignment that causes us pain, depression, anxiety and to question our worth.
As a side note, when we hear the word should it is also a red flag that our or someone else’s motivation is about external influences not internal. The should’s in our lives are about making decisions for others not ourselves. It indicates that this is something I think I need to do for others in societies terms of conformity which runs contrary to who we are and what we want.
Years ago, someone I knew said all their previous partners “were always difficult or crazy”. I looked at them and laughed, shaking my head. Then I asked, “what was the common denominator?” They were stunned, like I had hit them in the head with a 2×4. They had not even seen their hand in the pattern they had created, over and over for years. Perhaps it was easier to lie to themselves and not look at the hard stuff, choosing to believe it was bad luck, or an entire sex was unbalanced. Talk about crazy…
There is no denying our hand in architecting our results when things Always and Never happen to us. The good part of this realization is we are able to start listening for these red flags and recognize that we are orchestrating something we may not want. We may begin to see we are perpetuating an old wound, an outdated belief, or we are avoiding something scary like an opportunity. Adjusting our behavior can give us a more desired outcome and support healthy change, learning, and growth…all of that is scary stuff.
Making conscious choices gives us a life that feeds us, helps us to grow and bloom focused on intent and our passions. To use reasoning, instead of myth to open up our world helps us
to create more honest relationships with ourselves and others. Therefore, building deeper and more satisfying relationships and connections with the world around us. Watching out for our Never and Always, helps to point us in the right direction. It is like having a little decoder ring for ourselves to solve the wonder and mystery of us.
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