Recently, a fellow came to see us who considers himself an adult. According to the story of his life, he has survived his painful childhood. But his interpretation of the childhood which he survived comes from the distortions and misrepresentations of a child’s mind. Let’s be specific. “David” has spent many years seeing different therapists and psychiatrists, examining his childhood as a way of explaining his adult failings, depressions, and sense of insufficiency, inadequacy, and insecurity. Touch on any aspect of his life and he has a string of chronological events dating back to his childhood to explain why he is the way he is today. And most of these explanations point to his father as the reason for all of his faults. The traumatic incidents on his list of his father’s wrongdoings trip off his tongue like a well-worn script. Everything that David considers a current failing is linked to this list and can be traced back to this familiar story

When people are preoccupied with their internal conversations about their childhood, they become paralyzed and ineffective. Their lives become a series of investigations into why they operate the way they do and what caused them to be “screwed up.” There is a pitfall in rehashing one’s life. It’s paradoxical: On one hand, it is laudable to investigate those things that seem to inhibit our productivity and sense of well-being. But on the other hand, this same investigation can keep us lost in looking to blame something or someone outside ourselves for how our lives are currently showing up. We keep going back to, “If I had a different family, then my life would be different.” “If I had been born into old money and had all of the opportunities that were provided by my wealth and familial connections, then I would be successful.” Or, “If I had been born to a great actor, like Henry Fonda, then I could be a star and I would be in a family of superstars, but my father was just a waiter. He waited tables. I could have been so much more if I had had a better childhood.”

There comes a point in each of our lives where there is an opportunity to actually take control. But in order to take command of the wheel that steers your life, it requires putting both hands on the wheel and going forward. If we are addicted to looking at our past to determine our future, it is as though we are driving down the road looking in the rear view mirror to figure out the turns that are coming ahead. Then we wonder why our fenders are so dented by life. To take control of our lives, we have to let go of our past and be with what is, rather than blame it on the history that came before.

What we are suggesting is that there is a possibility outside of the psychological interpretation in which your life is determined by pivotal events that happened in your childhood. If one chooses to use this psychological model, then one’s life is determined by those past pivotal moments. This means that there is no possibility to ever recover from those events.

There is available to humanity, at this point in time, a paradigm shift from cause and effect to “isness”—going from a psychological paradigm where our lives are determined by events in our past to a transformational approach where things are just the way they are, not because of some prior event.

No two things can occupy the same space at the same time. You cannot be living your life directly if you are already preoccupied with figuring out why you are the way you are. You can either be actively engaged in your life or thinking about your life. You cannot do both at the same time. If you are being in your life directly, you discover the possibility of true satisfaction, well-being, a sense of security and knowing that you are capable, rather than worrying about whether you are doing it right, if other people would approve of you, or even if you would approve of yourself. If you are living your life directly, you are no longer worrying about your childhood. In fact, your childhood becomes totally irrelevant to your life.

Author's Bio: 

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have taught individuals, couples and organizations across the globe how to live in the moment and unwire the knee-jerk behaviors that get in the way of living life with ease. Together for 30 years and counting, people still ask Ariel and Shya if they are on their honeymoon. To find out more about the Kanes, their books, videos & seminars, visit:

The Kanes' newest book "How to Have A Match Made in Heaven: A Transformational Approach to Dating, Relating and Marriage" has won numerous awards, including the Mom's Choice Award Gold Medal, and is now available in English, Spanish and German. Learn more at