Back to the Future

By Mark Lauver, RMHCI

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The world we live and grow up in surrounds us and shapes us. It influences our choices, our relationships, our careers, our families and where we find ourselves at certain crossroads and decisions we have to make. When we come to those critical junctions, learning more about why we find ourselves where we are can give us the opportunity, as Paul was explaining to the Christians in Rome, to make better, healthier and holier choices.

We are all influenced by our childhood, our parents, and situations and events we are exposed to as we grow older. How your parent(s), your siblings and others interacted with you become the norm. We learn how parents are to behave, how families should look and interact with each other and what is expected or not expected of ourselves. Our friendships, or lack of them, our school experiences, traumas, and spiritual belief formation and many other events and experiences create our worldview. Our worldview is created and that becomes our safe or not so safe place and this becomes our “normal”, so we make choices and decisions that allow us to return to our “safe/unsafe” comfort zone. If it happens to be the unsafe version, we ask ourselves, “How did I get here?”

As a counselor, it can be beneficial to direct our clients to explore their experiences from childhood and adolescence to discover the patterns of why they might have made the decisions that negatively or positively affected their current situations in life. This exploration can uncover subconscious patterns of thought and behaviors that influence the way we make decisions and how we react to moments of uncertainty and fear.  A word of caution should be noted here. Uncovering the past can sometimes lead to discovering painful memories and events and this should be done with a professional. Also, the goal is to increase our own self-awareness in order to not relive the past or blame others for our own faults and sins. It is good to remember that we are all part of God’s plan.

This journey of increasing our own self-awareness and possible patterns of behaviors can increase our ability to see things from a different perspective than we might have in the past and make different choices. This knowledge may allow us to use our God-given discernment that Paul was talking about. This renewal of your mind can allow you to make better decisions when facing similar circumstances that you have faced in the past, decisions that can bring you closer to the life God wants for you.

If you want to bravely approach this process, we would be glad to assist you with this journey.