November 22, 2018

Beginnings

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Everyone has a beginning.

Many of us live our lives thinking we only have one vitally important beginning.

But why is this the perception of most?

If you ask someone to share their beginning, they will more times than not travel back to some childhood memory.

A memory that they actually remember or they remember because the story was told over and over again by their parents, grandparents or family members.

I find this belief of a singular beginning very interesting.

Even more interesting to me is the power given this memory.

So many of us let this one beginning shape most if not our entire lifetime.

Why is this?

Questioning Your Beginning

Is one beginning the best way to look at our life, our beginning, our journey?

Should we see life as one beginning or a multitude of beginnings?

If we have multiple beginnings, does that weaken the strength of the origin story?

If so, is that a negative or a positive thing?

Where did we get this belief from?

How can we change it?

Do you want to?

Should you?

Over this series, you’ll find your own answers to these questions.

My First Beginning

By the time I was three years old, my mother and father were already divorced.

This is my origin story. Broken home, in the middle of nowhere, below poverty, and clueless.

Take a pause for a second and realize I am at the time of writing this, 47 years old.

This means when I was born, the divorce rates were 37%.

Interestingly enough as I researched this, I found out that divorce continued to rise steadily, taking a big jump in the 1970s.

In 1969 the divorce rate was 26%.

This may have been because, for the first time, couples had the option of a no-fault divorce.

It was also the first time a spouse could cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for the divorce, making it much easier to obtain.

Prior to this point, anyone wanting to end their marriage had to prove adultery or cruelty in the marriage.

On a side note, maybe somethings shouldn’t be easier to achieve.

I also learned that 28% of children living with a divorced parent lived in a household with an income below the poverty line. That stat and my story line up but more on that later.

Today the divorce rate has reached up and into the 50% mark.

So, back then, when I was a young child, it was kind of a big thing vs today’s reality.

Let’s get back to my beginning story.

It has always been interesting to me that one of the things you’re supposed to get at birth was taken from me before I even knew I had it.

What do I mean?

I am talking about a family with a biological mother and father. The perfect life, the American dream.

I’m referencing what in today’s day and age, many of us may have fantasized about.

You can watch old shows like Leave it To Beaver or Happy Days to get a feel for what that was like.

Yes, I am totally dating myself by listing those shows.

However, can you name two to three shows on the air right now that have family and moral values as their North Star?

More interesting than it being taken away, was the fact that I didn’t realize it was gone until later in life when someone educated me to the fact that my life wasn’t normal.

In hind site, I was normal for the other 37% of the population in 1971.

One of the things we will talk about over and over in the Beyond The Default series is how we as humans can’t understand why things have happened or are happening in our lives.

We will also talk about how those things mold us into who we are and how it is us who has the power to dictate the direction in which each of these life-changing moments takes us.

Let me be a little more specific!

There were a ton of years in my life where I was frustrated, no, mad, well, actually I was simply furious.

The fact that my mother and father got a divorce!

That we moved 2,500 miles away from any family to Lincoln Montana.

By the way, in 1974, that was the middle of nowhere.

The fact that we were plunged into the 28% of divorced families living below the poverty level.

That I felt lost.

Felt small.

All of these reasons and probably many more were squeezing the good out of my brain and letting it refill with negativity and bitterness.

You see, through the lens that I was using the fact that my parents got divorced was a negative impact on my life. The fact that we moved thousands of miles away from family was going to ruin my life!

But was it really a negative? Would my life erode because of my location?

I’ll talk more about that in the next installment of Beyond The Default when we talk about the perception of vision and knocking out negative narratives.

You’ll also hear another version of my beginning that for years, I couldn’t even hear or see myself.

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