I read a compelling autobiographical novel recently, in which the main character had to painstakingly examine his past in order to move on spiritually. In his case, the effort was worthwhile- he ended up with a life of abundance, joy and freedom.
The frustrating thing about the book was that the reader was not offered even a glimpse of what was uncovered during the man's self-examination. I have to assume that he had made poor choices, such as greed over fullfilment of destiny, for example.
Regarding my own life, I have many times tried to completely identify any and all problems, issues, and/or shortcomings, covert or overt. I specifically recall once listing over 500 people whom I had "hurt"- sometimes by an offense as trivial as thinking envious thoughts about my "victim". It was actually a list of every person I had ever met- nobody was safe around me.
I was young back then. Now I'm hopefully better equipped to uncover the highlights of my past which led me to where I am now.
I spoke of Miss Bitchard, my Kindergarten teacher in a previous post. Surely starting school before I was ready contributed to my lifetime of shyness, and shaming teachers like Miss B loved to prey upon quiet little children. There were teachers who did the opposite, who built me up like a human skyscraper, unlimited. James Cardin (2 posts ago) was one of those. He ordered me to enter an essay contest which I won. The prize was that I was featured for 30 minutes on TV with a bunch of NY politicians in Washington, D.C. Boosted by the confidence of my admired teacher, I held my own in that terrifying situation, flying back home a foot taller.
The upshot of all that is that I became reliant on others, on outside validation (or disapproval) and direction. I didn't even receive much, if any, direction from my own family. My mother heaved one huge sigh of relief when I first walked through the doors of Lincoln Elementary, considering her work finished forever. I looked to Miss Bitchard for my self-definition.
This is definitely a feature of my current life. Just today I was asking TA if I should sell my house and move closer to downtown. This is a question that most functional adults can answer for themselves, I presume. Not I.
If called upon to identify my main shortcoming today, that would be it, I think- the tendency to look outside myself for direction and even validation. (Fellow bloggers- that means I rely on your comments! Keep 'em coming!)