The ladders clattered as he plonked them down on the roof rack. He automatically attached the bungee cord around them, so they wouldn’t slide off, when he pulled away later. That only had to happened once before for him to learn the importance of strapping things down. It was now something he did without giving much thought. His mind was on the day ahead: how many houses there were on his round today. How many windows to clean? Not too many, but enough to help with the rent, and buy some food later.
Life seemed okay. He was glad to have finally gotten away from his parents house. They’d recently moved into council accommodation on the other side of town. That brought problems of its own, what with coming from a middle class background, and then being thrown over onto the dark side of a council estate.
Glue sniffers on one side and milk thieves on the other. His mother hadn’t quite caught up with the fact they now lived on a shit-hole estate. For example, if you were naive enough to have milk delivered – as had been the case on the ‘better’ side of town – the neighbours simply got up before you, and stole it off the step. Really mother!? The final straw for him had been when some bastard had slashed all four of the new tyres he’d just had fitted to his car. What the fuck?
He’d changed the car since. He now drove a white Austin Maxi, not exactly much street cred in that, but he’d never really been overly bothered about that kind of thing; at least not when it came to cars that is. Besides, little did the boy racers know, it was actually the twin carb version; surprisingly quick off the mark. Yes things weren’t looking too bad; his little business was doing okay. This year he’d gained a few more customers; he’d also painted the exterior of four houses during the summer months. He could be proud, should be, but never quite was.
His mind still on the day head, he turned around to fetch a few final things from the flat; water for his bucket essentially, it was then that he saw her.
She was rounding the corner of his street with an expectant smile on her face. His girlfriend, or, as he’d come to think of her recently, ex girlfriend. A week prior they’d had a row and gone their separate ways; at least that’s what he thought, and yet in an instant, all that had seemingly changed.
The row had started because his girlfriend’s mother disapproved of him; had even gone to the trouble of calling his mother to let her know: “My daughter could have had anyone but she chose your son!” slamming the phone down before his mother had chance to say anything. Hindsight had taught him a useful response: “Yes, and isn’t she lucky to have him.” Too late for that now? No, actually.
It was seeing her smile through the tears and feeling her neediness, and his emptiness, that caused him to take her in. She said she didn’t care what her parents thought. Said she loved him. It would prove to be one of the defining moments of his life.
We all have memories of events from the past, that seem more prevalent, than others; memories that seem to pop into our awareness more frequently than others. Certainly in quieter moments of reminiscence – especially for clients during analysis – certain memories can surface with powerful clarity.
When we take a moment, to ponder on why these memories are the most powerful, we easily see their emotional content. It’s the emotional content that make our memories lasting. Happy or sad, angry or confused, emotion is the key.
The snippet of memory (often that’s all there is) relayed above, is significant, in its detail. For two people to be brought together through neediness, and the disapproval of parents, was potentially always going to be a recipe for disaster. Of course they believed they were in love, and to a great extent, they were. The only problem being, there was a slight imbalance in what that love was and meant, to each individual within the relationship.
As is now understood, in order to feel loved the young woman needed caring for as if she were still a child, and the young man needed to do the caring. There was no understanding of the empowering nature of mature love, or how this needed to be a reciprocal, for their relationship to have gone the distance.
No matter how long this memory is looked at though, the relationship was always destined to fail. Even if the young man’s girlfriend had attempted to empower him in return, it would have been rejected, or simply not understood. A woman empowering a man was not something he’d ever experienced, as such – and certainly not at that stage of his life – he would have never been able to acknowledge or accept it.
“Parents must exhibit empowering behaviour between each other for children to comprehend what a grown version of love is”
If we’ve never witnessed something, how will we ever learn, and know it. It’s the same with anything: when we see, hear and feel something, we have a far greater chance of it sticking. If we’ve experienced none of those things we remain in the dark.
Modelling behaviour is something we all do. When the model isn’t there to begin with, we blindly fumble our way through relationship after relationship, hoping to learn from our mistakes. A very painful method indeed. Fodder for the stories of dysfunctional relationships in soap operas no doubt. Painful and unnecessary.
Unnecessary, provided we take the time to learn a model of behaviour that speaks of grown love, and the importance of understanding what empowerment is. Not only that, but the importance of understanding and accepting the reciprocal nature of empowerment, is something we must grasp for our relationships to be both strong and lasting.
Powerful and evocative memories, that seem more prevalent than others, are there for clear reason. These memories are often pivotal moments in time and life. Moments where we’ve made decisions that a part of us (potentially a higher part) recognised as being very significant.
We make turns, changes and adjustments to our lives, based on the decisions we make. When we go back, and revisit prominent memories, we often see the alternative branches – of choice – we could have made. We see the consequences and effects of the moments we lived through with less experience than we have now. When we do this, we open up additional branches of opportunity, that are the consequence of hindsight.
“Through memories we become time travellers that can correct future mistakes, through the clarity of seeing their significance, in the past”
Be aware of the significance of prominent memories, they may well have been turning points, in your life. Your mind may be saying: “See this and don’t do it again.” Did you make the correct choice before? Could you have done things better? Could your children learn something – improved on – from your own childhood?
Our Workshop Manual is the correction of future mistakes through having visited them in the past.