I really wasn't trying to listen. And what was heard through the walls of my duplex shouldn't have been heard, let alone spoken. But obviously, the people next door obviously didn't care who heard them.

Theirs was a family of four, soon to be five; a single mother of a pregnant nineteen-year old and two primary school age daughters. I don't remember the girls' names, not their real names anyway, but I do remember what they were called, regularly, as I had no choice but to listen to the yelling on the other side of the wall.

There really is no delicate way to say this, I don't care much for swearing and calling people names. And it certainly would not be acceptable to write the words here, nor would I want to. So let's suffice it to say that the mother and her pregnant eldest (who I'll refer to as Mary) frequently called the younger two children curse words with the following meanings: female dog and boy who does something illicit with his mother.

It was because of this that I anticipated Baby's birth with some dread. I feared she'd have the same names as her young aunts. I listened as Mary told them not to refer to Baby by those names, that she was only a baby. I wondered how long it would be until she too used those names. It wasn't long, three months in fact, until it happened. She ordered Baby, now known as female dog, to shut up. And with those words, the cycle began to repeat itself through another generation.

We have the power to stop it.

Looking back I tell myself I should have said something, done something. I was young, just recently a newly single mother myself, far from perfect. What would I have said, back then? Would it have made a difference? I don't know the answer to that. What I do know is that we have the power to make changes in our lives so we can make healthier choices, establish healthier patterns for our children and their children. The power is ours to change the cycles we too seem destined to repeat.

The script

We all have our stories, our tales of grandeur, our tales of woe. Stories of words that were spoken to us, once or repeatedly, that left a mark as if written in indelible ink upon our beings. Stories of atrocities committed that no child should have to endure, whether by intent or unconsciously.

We all have writing on our walls. I suppose if we could see them, they'd look something like a city train. Parents, teachers, authority figures, peers, the media leave these writings there. For better or worse, their words become part of us.

Thankfully, there are positive, encouraging messages, but it seems to be the negative ones that we focus on, the ones that are highlighted in bold print. These writings form a script, like a computer program, a script that we consult as we conduct our lives, a script we may not even realize exists.

Changing the script:

1. Acknowledge the problem.
You've probably heard this saying before. In order to solve a problem, you first have to admit you have one. Likewise, in order to rewrite the script or the program, you have to admit you have one. Fortunately, this is the easy part.

Just listen for a few seconds. Those voices in your head, the ones that sound like a critic, a teacher, your parents, anyone, that is the script running. Is part of the script causing a problem? Only you, or perhaps those that interact with you, can help you decide that. By way of a guideline I can offer the following.

+If the words encourage you to live from a place of unconditional love for yourself and others, by all means, keep the program running. This does not mean you have no desire to change yourself, your circumstances, or your relationships. In fact, it may mean just the opposite. It means that because you love and care for yourself and others you will do what you need to do to have the life you want.

+If the words cause you to feel inappropriate grief or fear, or to operate from a place of conditional love, you may want to edit the script. If you are judgmental, quick to anger, overly anxious or paranoid, mean-spirited or negative, rewrite the script.

Here are a few examples:

You can look in the mirror and honestly say to the nose, wrinkles, thighs and stomach that look back, "I love you.", keep the script!

You look in the mirror and say, "I love you", those thighs are getting heavy. I'm going to exercise and eat right to get to a healthy weight." Keep the script!

You look in the mirror and say, "God you're ugly, what a crooked nose, look at those gross thighs, you better get that blubber off, pig" Please consider rewriting the script.

Here's another one.

Little Johnny is running wild through the house again. You corral Johnny and have him sit in time out for a few minutes. You may feel a little exasperated while acknowledging, "boys will be boys." Keep the script.

Little Johnny is running wild through the house again. You feel your blood begin to boil. You scream at Johnny telling him he's a bad boy, a pain in the rump like his good for nothing father, that if he does it again he's going to be grounded for lifePlease consider examining your program.

One more.

You tried a new "project" and it didn't work out. You feel a little sad about that, but you congratulate yourself for trying something new and figure it was a learning experience. Keep the script.

You tried a new "project" and it didn't work out. You feel "horrible" about it and berate yourself . "Well, you never could do anything right, finish anything, you shoulda, woulda , coulda and if only. You should know better than to think you could have: made that work, stuck to that diet, kept the job. Or maybe it was all someone else's doing. Time for a new script.

2. Prioritize.

Okay, so you acknowledge you have some areas in your life you'd like to change. Good! Who doesn't? Maybe you're tired of rerunning those old movies in your head of when somebody done somebody wrong. Great! You have identified a problem or issue or perhaps many of them. My first suggestion would be to prioritize. Start with what matters to you most. Everyone's priorities will be different.

3. Find the core incident, the core belief.
Next, try to find what's at the core of this problem. You may know right away or you may find it is not for the reason you think.

Why do I scream obscenities at my children?

Why do I talk to myself in ways that I would never speak to others?

Why do I sabotage my efforts to lose weight, get a new job, finish a project?

Why do I blame, judge others/myself so harshly?

Why am I afraid of heights, crowds, leaving the house?

Why do I , Why am I.?

You may have to follow the trail with several why's before you get to the root. Barring any later life trauma (and maybe even then), there's a good chance you will trace it back to childhood and the writing on your walls. If you are skilled at personal work, you may be able to do this for yourself. If not, and especially if you are in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, please seek appropriate help immediately.

4. Change the script.
Now you can are ready to neutralize the negative emotions around your past memories and change the script or program. If you just said, "Yeah, right!", then great! You have just identified another limiting belief triggered by the writing on your walls.

The truth is, negative emotions around past memories and limiting beliefs can be neutralized and changed remarkably fast. When this happens, it creates a shift in your thinking and your behavior. The energy you were expending on the negative, can now be used to help you express your true self.

There are many effective techniques you can use to do this and it can be helpful to incorporate different methods into the work as seems appropriate. My personal favorite thus far is the Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is classified under Energy Psychology and Meridian Tapping Techniques.

Meridians are the energy channels that run throughout the body. EFT is likened to "emotional acupuncture without the needles". In a nutshell, you make statements about a specific memory or problem while tapping on meridian energy points until the negative emotions are released. Then new choices can be affirmed.

No method works 100% of the time for all people, yet many people who use EFT achieve quick permanent results. It is simple enough to perform for yourself, although more complicated issues may require the assistance of a practitioner.

Practitioners are skilled at helping you look beyond your blind spots and can listen through your walls, so to speak. They use their experience to help you get better results than you may be able to get on your own.

5. Affirm yourself and continue the process.
Congratulate yourself for changing your life for the better, and therefore the lives of all those who will interact with you. As you continue to work with EFT (or another method of your choosing), you will find a new level of freedom to be and express the best you can be.

Surely, like all of us, you will continue to be a work in progress. Life happens.

For myself, I have a deeper level of peace in my life and am kinder to myself and others. I take risks and allow myself to be a bit more vulnerable. I pay attention to the writing on my walls and purposely listen through those walls. Things are sounding a lot more pleasant these days.

Author's Bio: 

Val Silver specializes in helping you achieve your mind body and spirit wellness goals. Val invites you to visit Holistic Mindbody Healing to learn more about using Natural Holistic Healing Methods and experience techniques to help you achieve your mind, body and spirit wellness goals.