As I mentioned in the previous post, I had lived over a half century, clueless in my own understanding of how emotions worked. In fact, I was absolutely unaware that I was clueless. My life looked like the freaking American Dream. I’d had amazing experiences that would be at the top of most bucket lists. Except, in being honest with myself, something had always felt a little off and being even more honest, I was very unhappy. And as I said it was as if God actually stepped in and pulled me out of that life for good. I had what could be described as a Kensho experience. It seems you can only stay off track in life for so long.

First I had lost so much blood I nearly died, which forced me to take time away from work. And when I returned I was told my assistant needed to be fired that day. I had no energy to double my workload. I thought back at how I’d gotten two units of blood and immediately gone right back to work. I hadn’t taken this threat to my health seriously, but now I was being given no choice but to do so. I had given twenty-seven years to my employer and I felt total betrayal in that moment. I was in shock; it was intensely painful, and I was angry. After having built an award-winning reputation, when no job offers came in I lost my identity. And this was when I learned how little I knew about emotional wellness.

Had I known what I do now, things would have been so different; instead I was reacting out of past conditioning. Just as we learn to hide and ignore our feelings when we are told to, we also receive many, often subtle messages about how our behavior should be. And our underdeveloped minds as children creates stories and limiting beliefs because of the messaging of others. This is a major key to how we live our lives as adults and something that’s not spoken of nearly enough.

I’ll give you an example of one I uncovered. Even thought I hadn’t felt unworthy, I was treating myself as if I were. I think it was being camouflaged by the fact that I had been quite successful. I had to ask myself how I’d let myself get so rundown to begin with; and then why hadn’t I taken time for myself once it was so clear. Had God not intervened to remove my assistant, I would likely still there.

As I did my work, digging up old wounds, I found many that revolved around the treatment I’d received from my father. Examples of when my needs were not met and things I’d wanted had been denied. Without any clear explanation, my mind created a story that I was personally unworthy. Looking back, it is perfectly understandable why my life took the direction it did in so many ways. The combination of having no emotional training along with the conditioning sent me on a path I hadn’t chosen, was not prepared for and like a boat without oars, I had been floating along.

In coaching with clients and even just chatting with friends, I’ve yet to find a personal issue that hasn’t tied directly back to something that happened in childhood. Conditioning and limiting beliefs are so important.

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Penny Payton.