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I hope I am gradually unlearning my habits of being judgmental and impatient. Takes practice! And also trying to unlearn, or practice slowing down and not hurrying through my life, and what I think I need to do everyday.
I unlearned that everyone is going through life together, no one really knows what they’re doing or they weren’t given a manual before coming into this world. Everyone has their own anxieties and problems but I get so caught up in my own that I think the whole world is judging every move I make or someone is watching me waiting for me to mess up. Recently I snapped out of it, I wouldn’t go to school for this exact reason but its like why? If I’m letting others opinions effect the way I live my life then am I really living MY life?
Also being more forgiving, I used to blame people for not knowing how to love me or help me when I needed it but like I said before no one came into this world with a life manual (although I think the Bible is the closest thing to one) and so its not their fault.
A good lesson for everyone, James!
That what I fear most does not necessarily have to come true. All I can do is try to stay open and allow hope to guide instead of fear and leave it to God what might be. Not easy. May all work out well. Blessings to you all out there.
This is a wonderful question- again unlearning to me is letting go. Doesn’t it always come to letting go? Letting go of judgement, inferiority and superiority is a big one to unlearn if that’s what you want to call it . If I could please go for those three and let them all go I would appreciate it sooo much! What a burden to hold on to this false self – full of herself. Please help me unlearn her self and let her go!
I have “unlearned” being fiercely independent. My family was quite dysfunctional (BTW I think the expression “dysfunctional family: is a redundancy), ad my mother was unable to provide proper nurturing, so at a very young age I looked around and made a decision: Ain’t nobody here to take care of me, so I’d better take care of myself. And so I did, being strongly independent all my life until a couple of months ago. As I’ve mentioned until it’s got to be boring, I developed serious health issues that have required me to seek out and accept help. The experience, as I’ve also said before, has been beautiful. So many people have been so kind. And people get real joy out of helping others, so in a sense I am giving them a gift also.
And, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I am enjoying being taken care of in a way that I have never been before.
I feel like I’m currently unlearning “goals”.
Desiring a future result causes (me) stress. Chasing a carrot on a stick isn’t enjoyable (to me). What’s the point of the goal if you cross the finish line overwhelmed and exhausted, with a sense of relief instead of accomplishment. Similarly, I’m finding myself more and more opposed to the idea of “work ethic”. What is “hard” about “hard work”? No thanks.
This isn’t to say I shouldn’t work, it’s more of a response to how I work. Work can come effortlessly. If I’m curious, or passionate, or free to explore, it feels like I get into a flow and rather than expending energy, I generate it. It feels like so much of this is based on the way I approach it, and the way I was taught to think about “goals” didn’t teach this. There is a type of thinking that came along with goals that made them strenuous, not effortless. As an example, sports come to mind. I might play golf three times a week, improving constantly, learning my clubs, shots, gaining distance, becoming more proficient on the green. But as soon as I decide this practice should help me win the tournament at work next month the game becomes less fun, it becomes a “job”. What’s the difference between a hobby and a job?
All of this to say that the real “goal” is to find a way to find meaning and curiosity in everything I do, not adhere to a milestone loaded with concepts, validation, and achievement. Achievement seems like it works better as a symptom, not a reason.
I completely agree Null.
Love this. Unlearning ego: “Achievement seems like it works better as a symptom, not a reason.”
I’m not sure if I have “unlearned” anything really. But I am more AWARE of the inner wounded child/critic that is still a part of me. And I am learning to nurture her, show her compassion, and hold her in Love. Buddhist meditation teacher Tara Brach has helped me so much with this. She calls on us to practice RAIN when we are triggered. Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture. This has given me a replacement for the self-criticism, shame and guilt, and I now try to hold myself in compassion during those times. So I guess in a way I am making space for new learning.
~Have a blessed day friends 🙏
RAIN, such a good concept Diane.
For some time now I have been unlearning the history I was taught in school. I was taught about pioneer settlers, Manifest Destiny, “taming” the West. History books skipped lightly over the Civil War and I think may have completely ignored the Jim Crow era–certainly nothing about the foundations laid for white people to accumulate multi-generational wealth while Black neighborhoods were dynamited, burned, and destroyed to build highways. I wasn’t taught that during WWII, the US turned away ships full of Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis my dad fought as a bomber pilot. I was taught many stereotypes, biases, and prejudiced views, all from the perspective of the Europeans who had colonized and conquered around the globe.
Once I began to learn I also began to unlearn the reflexive thoughts and assumptions that stemmed from the early school lessons. I’m thankful for my mother’s teachings of empathy and kindness that laid the foundations in me to want a better world for everyone, not just for myself. That prepared me to be open to unlearning and learning anew.
I note that several people said this question stumped them. I recently went through a workshop where we were asked what we knew about ourselves and then how we knew that–who had taught us this, what had shaped those inner thoughts. Those beliefs about ourselves are something we learned. Then we went to a question about what we think we know about others and how we know that. All this process of socialization is a lot to unpack. Perhaps there is some fodder there for those who want to find a way into this question.
They always say history is written by the victors, as sad as that may be.
Yes, yes, yes Barb. Exactly what has been swirling through my brain for the last ten years. I was in grade school in the 1950s and these were the myths that prevailed.
How true and how well articulated, Barb. The older I get the more I realize that we didn’t learn squat in school, and what we did learn was biased, incomplete, and/or just plain untrue.
Recently I have unlearned what it means to be successful. I am learning that success is less about the money and more about the lifestyle. Does the work of the day align with purpose, passion, or joy? Am I helping others? Am I seeing my goals accomplished and fulfilled? Am I evolving as a human being? I was raised in a family that was conditioned to believe that their success came from their academics and material belongings. Though I have been blessed with an abundance of wisdom and small luxuries, I know that those are dreams that money can buy. I feel like the true success comes from achieving dreams that come from faith and learning what I truly want out of life that affects me to my spiritual core.
Like others this question has me stumped. I am unlearning some not so healthy behaviors at the present time. Not easy…but it must be done.
What have I unlearned recently?
In order to unlearn something, I have to identify what I learned/what I was taught that no longer serves me. I am currently listening to a series of CD recordings of talks given by Fr. Thomas Keating called “Contemplative Journey.” They are recordings of a retreat he gave many years ago. I am finding the talks so helpful. He explains that my generation’s religious training preached a God that ruled from a distance…a God that was outside of me–a God who sat in the bleachers while I was required to perform on the stage and if I did well, would clap his approval and when I died, would greet me with my heavenly reward. God was not with me or in me. God was not love. God was judge and jury. So if I was taught that I was made in God’s image and likeness, where did that leave me???
Keating also speaks of other childhood messages that can lead to a performance oriented rather than process oriented life style. He says that these life-limiting messages created energy centers in the psyche that outer circumstances can and will trigger because they are based in fear not love. The only way to change that fear-filled energy is to let God love me until I UNLEARN my false concept of Life and trust the process.
This willingness to UNLEARN by LEARNING TO LET LOVE BE DONE UNTO ME is blowing me away. It fills me with awe and deeply felt emotion. My egoic mind says, “What? You know you are not enough. You’ve never been enough!”
Granted it’s a lot to UNLEARN but as the biblical story goes, “Let it be done unto me according to Thy Word.”
Carol…just this morning I read something similar to what you are sharing. A reflection from Unity that encouraged my spirit because it reminded me that we are all a work in progress. It doesn’t mean that I am a failure in my spiritual walk, or that I am “not enough” (a lie that my egoic mind has belittled me with for far too long!) or that I am not unconditionally Loved.
I’m grateful for all the teachers that God has gifted me, starting with Henri Nouwen….and so many more. Including all those who share here in this sacred space. Thank you. 🙏
Thanks for your message, Diane. I, too, love Henri Nouwen. Have you ever listened to his sermon on our being God’s beloved? I listened to it in you tube…so inspiring.
Carol, It is amazing what we (I) learned was all fear based. I went to a private Catholic School for 9 years and knew only fear…Fear of the nuns, fear of the school and fear of my father…He (my father) gave the nuns permission to hit me if needed. Thankfully, it never came to that…but they always made me feel less than everyone else. God…I was taught if we don’t do as the Church says we go to hell…Just recently…I was reading a prayer…and the story of St. Faustina which also illicted fear in me…now a 71 year old woman. I certainly believe in God…but a loving and just God…not one who instills punishment…and as for the body of the Church…well that is a whole new conversation. Thank you for your thoughts and sharing. I always enjoy and learn from your posts.
I am 66 and an alum of St. Rose of Lima Catholic school, instructed by the Sister’s of Norte Dame. I understand.
Nannette….I agree with Carol 🙂
Nannette, I enjoy your post, too. Your love for everyone and everything rings so true in the words you share. Thank you.
I have returned to this rather confusing questions a few times this morning. Not sure I have an actual answer, but I was reminded of my journey of learning different ways of communicating over my 72 years of life (thus far). Back in the day, schools were very specific when it came to spelling, punctuation, and handwriting. Then there was the pathway of learning the typewriter (fingers on the right keys! – same with the piano), the word processor (the first one was Huge!), on into various iterations of computers and using our phones, etc. etc. I suppose I have unlearned a lot as I let go of the “old ways” … though I am still pretty specific about my spelling, as well as grammar, paragraphs, and the beat goes on. I also learned to play the oboe and a bit of piano. I still don’t use only or mostly my thumbs as many others do, which is probably a good thing for these old hands! Not sure I have unlearned along the way, so much as letting some of the “old ways” go. Though I still use both my hands for these ways of communicating … I have the option, so why not?
Good morning Pilgrim…so lovely to see you here (as always) on this our Prayer Tuesday. I said a little prayer this morning for Ursula’s family…and for all of our friends from our Gratitude Lounge days. I hope all those beautiful people are well….I remember those days with so much gratitude. It was a much needed gift and grace for me.
Your post reminded me of when I was in grammar school (a long time ago!) writing with my left hand. My teacher was appalled and forced me to write with my right hand. To this day, I still don’t hold a pen correctly. I do other things with my left hand but have not “unlearned” that forced writing.
Have a blessed day my friend 🙏
I’m left handed, Diane and they did not try to make me right handed when I was learning cursive. My Mom however was not allowed to use her left hand and she wrote with her write hand. I guess the decision to accept or break someone who is left handed has varied over the years.
To me this is a confusing question! Reading the responses have not given me clarity. I will ponder a response during the day.
I was going to say that I’ve unlearned some of my good practices to maintain peace of mind, but I haven’t unlearned them. They are still inside me. They just aren’t actively being used as much. I’m trying to get back on track, so at least there’s that!
I don’t know if I really understand this question. How to understand English without saying direction is what I have unlearned recently, I think. 🙂
I have lived in the U.S almost four years and I’m in English wiring class now. My professor persuades me to at least write something every day. Fortunately, I found this community. The daily questions are exactly what I am interested in. Thanks to all of you, who run such an extremely helpful community for inner growth.
What a wonderful place to practice your writing Ngoc Nguyen! And let me reassure you that this question was a difficult one to interpret…you are not alone in this. I hope you will keep sharing here in the future.
Beautiful!! You are doing an amazing job! Welcome to the USA, a beautiful country that I have called home for the past 43 years. I continue to learn to this day. This community is an amazing place to be. Blessing to you on your journey.
Thanks a lot, Ana. I appreciate your kind words. It also helpful to write my comment and read other people comments, too.
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