Brenda: Mysteries of What Makes Us Who We Are

By Brenda Calloway Why are people the way they are? Have you ever stopped to ask that question? I have thought about this many times. So...

By Brenda Calloway

Why are people the way they are? Have you ever stopped to ask that question?

I have thought about this many times. Sometimes I wonder about this in a positive light, and sometimes if someone is being mean or nasty, I wonder about it in a more negative light. Have you ever sat somewhere and just people watched? That may not be the correct term, but that’s what my family calls it. It’s where you sit in a mall or airport or any high traffic area and watch the people that walk by. You see all of these different people walk by and wonder what made them the way they are.

I remember once being at a video rental store (yes, I know that dates me) and I was looking for something for my family to watch together. A woman came into the store with her (I’m assuming) husband and son. She had the meanest look on her face the entire time she was there. Nobody around her could do anything right. She yelled and was nasty to her husband and son, who cowered every time she looked in their direction. I remember thinking, hmm ... I wonder what has happened in her life to make her that way, or is she just crazy?

Then of course there are the people you meet in life who would give you the shirt off their back if there wasn’t a law about indecent exposure. You know what I mean, those kind loving people who seem to always be helpful and friendly and genuinely care.

Why are we all so different? I know the "experts" have gone in circles since people started studying this phenomenon. Is it nature? Or nurture? Is it how we are raised and what’s around us or did we come here with these personality traits? I like to think it’s probably a bit of both.

If you think about it, the things that happen to us or around us really do impact our lives. If you suffer abuse, you will, more than likely, have specific issues creep up that you will have to deal with. If you are spoiled with too much money, given everything your little heart desires, not held to any rules or have never had to face a consequence, you will most likely be a rotten individual -- but not always.

Sometimes, people surprise you. Sometimes, they break out of their social norms and do the unexpected. Sometimes they don’t "fit the mold". There are many cases of the abused parent passing on the abuse, but there are also the examples of people who were abused, stopped the cycle and don't abuse their children or spouse. There are the amazing people who break out of their poor, low income, crime filled environments, who go on to get scholarships and break free from the constraints they were born with.

People can truly surprise you, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. I was born to a wonderfully loving family. My mother tried very hard to instill in us a specific set of values and morals that she believed would help us to be better people. My father taught us to have a good work ethic and to always do a good job. I was taught to watch what I say and give people the benefit of the doubt. But sadly, I was born without a filter or at the very least a damaged one.

I don’t know how many times I have made my mom gasp or apologize to someone for something I would say, especially as a teen. I would sometimes say things to shock her on purpose, but much of the time it was accidental -- I swear, completely accidental.

My sister, who has a lovely filter, completely intact, does not obviously struggle with this same issue. We were both born into the same family, we both have a very similar set of DNA and we were both raised very similarly. So why the difference?

As I’ve gotten older -- way, way older -- my filter has improved a tiny bit, but I think it’s mostly from practice. I am now even allowed to go into public on supervised special occasions -- ha ha!

This brings me to my next thought. Even if we are born with certain tendencies, if we don’t like them, can’t we improve on them? If something happens to us when we were young that would tend to bring us down a certain path, can’t we change that course by practicing a different path?

I have had people explain to me that they can’t do this, because of a previous experience, but can’t we acknowledge what has happened and then learn to become better anyway? I know in some instances, it can be way more difficult than in others. But I truly believe that through practice and growth, just about anyone can improve if they work hard and put their mind to it.

In fact, I believe that the difficult trials that we face can indeed actually build us up to be stronger and more understanding people, if we choose not to use these trials as excuses. And to help us have the energy to rebuild our broken down muscles, whether it is mentally or physically, here are a couple of recipes.

To help with mental clarity:

Place the following into a diffuser, or they can be mixed into coconut oil and rubbed onto the chest, neck, feet, temples, etc:

2 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil
1 drop frankincense essential oil

To help rebuild muscles and gain extra energy -- Energy Bites:

1 c. rolled oats
½ c. almond butter (or substitute peanut butter)
½ c. chocolate chips or cocoa nibs
1/3 c. raw honey
¼ c. ground flaxseed

In mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together well. Roll into teaspoon sized balls and place in fridge or freezer until set. Place in freezer safe or fridge safe bags, containers, etc. and store in fridge until ready to eat. Can store in freezer for longer term storage.

Brenda Calloway is a happy wife and a mother of five beautiful daughters. She loves her family, the outdoors, to read, bake and all things medicinal.

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