Here’s the thing. We are a being created from the culmination of all our past experiences, our parents’ experiences, and the lineage that was passed down to them from their ancestors. Behind us is a trail of blood, sweat and tears of everyone that has led us to the moment of you sitting here reading this and me sitting here writing this. You can call that a coincidence, destiny, glitch in the matrix, fate, or whatever else aligns with your worldview. However it makes sense for you to digest this; we are here. So, what do you do with that?
I say all that to say, right here, right now, you have every opportunity to change every single toxic trait that was passed on to you. All of us carry with us, some sort of emotional baggage that we are choosing to let define our character. Today, over lunch with a friend, the topic was broached about mental health, which then segued into a conversation about our parents and how they passed on emotional trauma without meaning to, on us. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents. They did everything they could to raise the woman I am today. I owe them the world and more. But, at the end of the day, my parents were immigrant parents trying to make a home in a country that looked at them as aliens. They were busy trying to provide in the ways they knew how to. But, with that, I don’t think they ever thought to take time to teach me love in a healthy way, to teach me communication in a healthy way, to teach me that expressing my feelings in a healthy should be a norm and not a privilege. My parents’ generation focused on surviving, so that I don’t just have to survive, so that I could thrive. I do not hold any blame on their heads for this. The fact of the matter remains that here I sit reflecting on all the things I see in my parents, that I see in myself. A monologue ensued,
“Oh, Nav, you don’t like how your dad doesn’t ever talk about anything. He sits in silence fuming. Doesn’t ever express his emotions. Then you go and do the same thing with the people that you love. You don’t like how angry your mom gets, so stubborn, doesn’t ever want to admit that she’s wrong, but you have the audacity of complaining about her, while you do the same shit You keep people at a distance. You talk to people about opening up, but then go and shut yourself away from the ones that need you the most.”
All this trauma passed on from parent to child. And here we sit, like broken records. Well, I refuse to let that be my story. This generational toxicity stops with me. I’m calling myself out. I’m having the difficult conversations. I’m taking the time to learn my triggers and working through them instead of ignoring them. This is work. There are days when I don’t like myself, because of how I let my shortcomings determine my worth. But, that won’t be what I use to let define my character. It’s how I come out on the other end when I look back at my life that really counts. Not the moments that I was weak. The moments that I chose to be resilient to develop into the woman that made her ancestors proud.
There are several different types of people in this world. The first is the one who sits there rolling their eyes at me. Here she is again. Back with the fluff, back with the bullshit. They look at the first couple of lines and keep it pushing. And that is ok. Live and let live. Then there is the second type of person. They read what I’ve put in front of them and let the words mull over in their mind as they fall asleep. Slowly, embedding them into their subconscious, letting the words become a part of their psyche, to help shift a mentality that’s been weighed down by generations of self-doubt. These are the people that feel the light waiting to be set aflame. All it takes is the realization that we are bigger than our circumstances, no matter what our conditioning tells us. So…you lighting the flame or going to sit there feeling sorry for yourself?