If you’ve been to one of my public classes in the past year, you will hear me say “be at peace” at the end of class. It is something I wish for in myself and others. For better or worse, we tend to duplicate the same pattern of behavior we ourselves were shown and experienced growing up. Take a second and try to honestly think back to your childhood. What kind of household were you raised in? What behaviors you learned as a child then are you duplicating now as an adult? The first step to maturity is becoming aware and noticing if the patterns you’re recreating from childhood are helping your potential or hindering your current life.
My biological parents and early gymnastics coaches communicated through physical and emotional abuse. It’s no surprise that, as an adult, I’m prone to acting out of anxiety and fear. Lately I’ve been experiencing longer periods of peace. At first I was in such disbelief, I thought perhaps I was depressed. But I wasn’t experiencing the heaviness associated with depression. I believe I was afraid to allow myself to fully be at peace because that’s not an emotion I experienced as a child, and as such, it was unfamiliar to me. On some level, I believed I didn’t deserve peace.
Recently, on the way to pick up my sister from LAX, I was already running late and then there was an accident on the 405. As traffic was slowing down, I could feel anxiety and fear creep in until they seemed to fill the entire car! At first, it felt like a happy reunion! For better or worse, these are the feelings that I knew. Unlike peace, they were familiar. “Anxiety” was ready to pop the champagne, asking where I’ve been, and “fear” was picking out the best party soundtrack. So I had to ask myself: Should I go back to my old friends? Or should I remain curious about “peace” and explore that instead? I know that I’ll will mess up and I will still have to share some meals with anxiety and fear, but I’m willing to try and get to know peace better. What will you choose?
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