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My Dad's words

My dad's words always lingered in the back of my mind like a persistent echo. "Once a program is written, it becomes the rule of your life until it's recognized and changed." At first, as a child, I couldn't quite grasp the depth of his wisdom. It was like trying to understand a language I hadn't yet learned.

Years passed, and his words became more than just a mantra; they became a roadmap to understanding the complexities of human behavior. It wasn't until my early thirties that I began to truly appreciate the significance of what he was trying to teach me.

Growing up, I was always hesitant to ask my dad questions, afraid of what his answers might reveal. 

Would they challenge my perceptions? Would they force me to confront uncomfortable truths about myself? The fear of the unknown often held me back.

But as I delved deeper into the workings of the human mind, I began to see parallels between our thoughts and the apps on our smartphones. Just as we instinctively reach for specific apps to perform certain tasks, our minds are wired to respond to certain stimuli in predictable ways.

Take, for example, my three-year-old daughter's tendency to cry whenever she doesn't get her way. It's like she's running a program called "crocodile tears" – a tried and tested method for getting attention. And who can blame her? As the youngest member of the family, she's learned that a few tears can go a long way in a household where nobody wants to see a baby unhappy.

But just as our phones can be customized with new apps and updates, so too can our minds be reprogrammed with new behaviors and attitudes. It's a concept my dad instilled in me at a young age, though it took me until my late twenties and thirties to truly grasp its significance. For years, I found myself stuck in repetitive cycles, reacting the same way to life's challenges and expecting different results.

"I'd get mad, throw a fit, and declare that everything would change come Monday," I'd often joke, insisting, "This is just who I am. You have to respect that." But my dad's teachings challenged that notion. There's no rule written anywhere that says we have to remain rebellious or stuck in outdated patterns forever. We have the power to upgrade, to rewrite our internal programming.

In my one-on-one therapy sessions, we use a method called "rewrite" where we examine outdated programs, understanding their origins and determining what serves us in the present. Some of these programs have deep roots, requiring daily effort to reshape, while others can be discarded with a simple shift in perspective.

One of the most valuable programs my dad installed was the ability to recognize these patterns and actively work towards changing them to better suit our present selves. It's a journey of self-discovery and growth, one that requires courage, patience, and a willingness to confront the parts of ourselves we'd rather ignore. But as I've learned, the rewards of breaking free from outdated programming are immeasurable, leading to a more fulfilling and authentic life.

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