When I was little my dad used to tell me that he would give me gumballs when I was in my mom’s tummy. He said I would knock on her belly and he would open it up using the belly button as the door handle. I would stick my hand out and he would give me a gumball. He told this story all the time. I would imagine myself as an infant floating around in my mom’s tummy chewing gum and blowing bubbles. I would tell my friends this story, insisting it was true. I remember coming home one day crying because some kids from the neighborhood said they didn’t believe me. That is when my parents decided to tell me the truth. I will never forget the disappointment I felt.
One night I was in the kitchen and a bunch of neighborhood kids were in the backyard playing. The window was open and I overheard them talking about the presidential elections. I usually refrain from conversations about politics but I was not about to stop this discussion. In my backyard, a bunch of children ranging in ages from 4 to 7 were heavily debating who should be president. Their debate didn’t include topics like foreign affairs, education, or the economy. It mainly centered around the theme of “my parents are better than your parents”. Their heated argument really had no substance, however you could not ignore their passion and loyalty, a loyalty so tightly bound to their parents.
While listening to the kids, I smiled thinking about the gum ball story. I remember how badly I wanted it to be true….not because my friends didn’t believe me…but because my dad told me so. I sat there thinking about my belief system and how much it has changed in recent years. The process of exploring and reconnecting with my true self has been both liberating and devastating. There have been moments of mourning because the beliefs I once had are no longer mine. They never were. They were someone else’s. Stepping into my true essence has been exciting but I would be lying if I said it was easy. At times I felt like I was betraying my loved ones and feared what would happen to our relationship.
Changing our behaviors and moving towards health is NOT easy. Moving towards loving yourself and sharing your gifts IS difficult – but worth it. Change is scary but it is just that…scary. Fear. That is all it is. We can overcome fear and become wiser, more improved version of ourselves. We never lose the parts that shaped us into who we are. I will never forget my dad and the gumballs. I think of him whenever I see a gumball machine and smile. I remember all the many stories he shared…and whether they were true or not they still made me who I am today.
Simple Exercise Towards Changing Behaviors & Beliefs
When I was going through changes and moving towards health and happiness I thought I was doing it wrong. The approaches and methods didn’t fit what was normal for me and my family. My holistic journey was worlds away from the medical model I knew growing up the daughter of a surgeon. And looking back, I realize how fortunate I am to have lived in both of these worlds. We are not meant to live in one or the other…but rather seek and appreciate the benefits that come from both. Don’t be afraid of changing and finding new beliefs. The ones you have learned up to this point are neither wrong nor right. Their value is not about whether they are right or wrong, but rather in the foundation they will provide you as you move forward and grow.