Get Rid Of Your Ancestor’s Baggage
My bedroom closet is filled with boxes from my mother’s house. She died a year ago. My garage has a stack of relics from my husband’s uncle. He’s been gone seven years now. We never look in the boxes but we won’t get rid of them either. Why?
Maybe it’s too much work. Maybe we’re afraid the keepsakes will made us sad. Or maybe we just have no idea what to do with the contents once they’re out in the open. It can get really messy sorting through the memories of someone else’s life.
So many things are passed down from generation to generation. My mother’s red sweater. Uncle Robert’s favorite book. Other things that get passed down, even without our knowledge sometimes, is our ancestor’s limiting beliefs.
My mom’s family came to America during the potato famine in Ireland in the 1840’s where they faced mass starvation, disease and death if they didn’t emigrate. When I see pictures of my grandmother and her cousins, just one or two generations later, it’s interesting to me how many of them were obese, long before the days of fast food and television even existed.
Was my grandma hoarding food “just in case”? Was it a sign of success; that she could never be mistaken for starving immigrant again? Maybe it was a comfort thing? Maybe she and her family ate when they missed home or felt unwelcome when they read “Irish Need Not Apply” signs?
Whatever the case, overeating was passed down from my ancestors to my grandma, to my mom, to me, and only recently, when I started bodybuilding, did I actually look inside the cluttered storage boxes in my mind and realize that some of this baggage had nothing to do with my current life and I needed to get rid of it so I didn’t pass it down to my kids.
We all get limiting beliefs from our families about money, success, food, you name it. They may sound like this: “Rich people are greedy,” “You can’t raise a family and be successful at your job,” and “Really fit people are selfish.”
These beliefs came from somewhere. Maybe your grandma worked for a rich guy who was a total bastard. Maybe your great uncle was late to work one day because he was helping his mom and got in trouble. These beliefs might be based in one person’s reality, but that doesn’t mean it’s your reality, not in this day and age.
Don’t allow your mind to be cluttered with dead ancestor storage. Look at each false belief and write a new truth that works for you. The new truths are also called affirmations.
- Old belief: Being very fit means I’m selfish
- New truth: Taking care of my health allows me to better take care of my family
- Old belief: I can’t afford to eat healthy; junk food is cheaper
- New truth: The universe is abundant and it’s better to buy smaller portions of quality foods than tons of cheap processed ramen noodles
- Old belief: Food is a friend to comfort me
- New truth: Food is for fuel. I get comfort other ways, like talking with friends, prayer, or helping others
Today I’m starting to sort through my mother’s boxes. I already took away a trunkful of things to Goodwill and threw away a bag of trash. But the really good stuff: a love letter my dad wrote to my mom, photos of our family vacations, my mother’s favorite ring – those I’m keeping and sharing with my kids. If you are holding on to beliefs that were passed down from your family, really look at them. Keep the good stuff that works for you and shed the rest.
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Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!
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