Is Your Life Built with Straw, Twigs or Bricks?

October 1, 2009

I don’t really watch T.V much, but when I do I’m surprised to see how so many of the people on it are  in  romantic relationships when they don’t have  a healthy relationship with themselves.

It’s not just the T.V world, I see it in the people I meet and in some of the friends I have.  I have friends who have been serial dating since they were 15-year-old and have yet to be in a healthy relationship. And every time one of their relationships ends, they always seem to find fault in the partner they were with or even love itself, never once stopping to think that maybe the problem is cemented in them.

What do these un-healthy people look like? They have low-self value, live masochistic lifestyles, ego driven, lack of identity, sex or body driven self-worth, a  narcissistic personality, selfish, materialistic, jaded, bitter, jealous, negative, cowardly and a victim mentality (boo ho for me all the time). (Of course there are more traits than these, but for now this will do)

This is how I see it, metaphorically.

When we are born, our parents build us a house, and in that house there are things we like and don’t like. For all of us there are healthy and unhealthy elements to it, that as we grow can become a part of what we think or feel is natural or unnatural about the world.

As we get into our teens, we start grabbing control of our individuality and decide to decorate our rooms; our first step into coming into our own, into expressing our inner needs and wants. Along the way, depending on how many relationships (friendships and lovers) we engage in, the room fluctuates between neat and messy.

As for the rest of the house, depending on the type of family you have, it can become continuously upgraded; catering towards your growth, continuously downgraded; stunting your growth, or somewhere tittering in-between whereupon growth comes in stints of a lot, a little, to none at all.

Once you go to college or reach about the age of 17-18 and are in the next stage of your life, it is your duty to rebuild, redecorate, refurnish.  Depending on your childhood you may not need to change very much. If your family built you a stable foundation that is connecting you to happiness, love and success than maybe you just need to re-decorate and not re-build. If your family, created a house with a weak base than it is your job to take the time to tear down and build a better one.

You will never find true love and happiness if you don’t work to fix yourself, your issues from childhood, and any other issues that come along the way .

When you date someone you bring them into your house of clutter or neatness, depending on the amount of self-help you have done. Depending on how long they are there, some just alter a corner of your room, others the entire room, and some the entire house.   So many of the people I know just pack their last fling, or boyfriend/girlfriend in a box, closet, or in a room, shut the door and pretend they don’t exist because they’re not in sight. If you don’t take the time to unpack, grieve, and clear up the remains of your past relationships, you are only weakening your foundation for personal and relationship growth.

The story of the Three Little Pigs provides a great example of the dangers of not building a “home” (life) with a proper foundation and roof. In the book, ‘The Uses of Enchantment, The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales, author, Bruno Bettelheim, an Austrian born child psychologist and writer, touches on the matter in a meaningful piece called ‘Pleasure Principle versus Reality Principle.’  The following is an excerpt from his book.

 “The littlest pig built his house with the least care out of straw; the second used sticks; both throw their shelters together as quickly and effortlessly as they can, so they can play for the rest of the day. Living in accordance with the pleasure principle, the younger pigs seek immediate gratification, without a thought for the future and the dangers of reality, although the middle pig shows some growth in trying to build a somewhat more substantial house than the youngest.

Only the third and oldest pig has learned to behave in accordance with the reality principle: he is able to postpone his desire to play, and instead acts in line with his ability to foresee what may happen in the future. He is even able to predict correctly the behavior of the wolf- the enemy, or stranger within, which tries to seduce and trap us; and therefore the third pig is able to defeat powers both strongest and more ferocious than he is. The wild and destructive wolf stands for all asocial, unconscious, devouring powers against which one must learn to protect oneself, and which one can defeat through the strength of one’s ego.  The story of the three pigs suggests a transformation in which much pleasure is retained, because now satisfaction is sought with true respect for the demands of reality.”

The only way to create a future riddled with moments of happiness and true love is by building an internal brick house.  No amount of money or business success will ever fix your inner voids, they will only mask them. If you are hopping from un-healthy- relationship to another than maybe it’s time to slow down and ask yourself; What material am I building my life out of?

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