Continuing on the theme from yesterday, and to provide some balance to the subject of things we inherit by default from our families by the way we are brought up — some very positive concepts are common in my family:
- Love of animals. As far as I can remember in my family, there were dogs and cats (and rabbits and birds) and not just as companions, but as full-fledged family members. Any animal that is in our family has a lot of love and admiration and comfort. And not only domestic animals — every winter there are feeders being put up for birds that stay over the winter (jays, turtle-doves, tits, sparrows). There is a stock of chestnuts and walnuts for woodpeckers and squirrels that visit our garden. Every couple of days, someone goes to a local pond to feed the ducks who live there. It is something that we do without a second thought or a question — it is part of our nature and behavior.
- Love of books and reading. Again, as long as I remember, books were everywhere and reading was one of the basic things everyone in the family had in common. Getting a library card (and being able to go to the local library without parents) was a rite of passage. And it still is like it now — every occasion possible (be it birthdays or Christmas or even without the cause) we gift each other books from the long list that is being constantly updated. We go through different websites looking for hard-to-find or out-of-print books just to surprise one another. We are running for space for all the books we have (including storage) because obviously no book ever gets thrown out. And we all love it.
- Love of discovery and curiosity. We were always told — “don’t judge before you experience it” and there was always an encouragement to go out and explore and learn to understand new and uncommon things. There was always a cultivated love of travel — to see for yourself, to feel for yourself before making a judgment. Our family habitually championed adventures — be the exploits in the backyard or the other part of the globe. It was invariably enough to say “I am going there because I haven’t been there yet” and no further explanation was necessary. All that leads to the appreciation of different cultures and understanding of differences and uniqueness of customs and traditions.
And that is just off the top of my head. I am sure there are a lot more positive things that we, as a family, inherited not as a conscious choice but rather as a part of our natural upbringing. And I do appreciate that. But that other part, this subconscious behavior that I haven’t questioned until I started my therapy — that bothers me. And it seems that every day I discover new, disturbing depths to it. I want my life to be fully sentient, and I will explore all that comprehensively here.