Why are you the way you are? We know from research that the three major influences are nature, nurture, and the culture in which you are raised. But, even so, take three siblings and raise them in the same way and you are likely to end up with three very different and unique individuals. What accounts for our uniqueness?
One way to understand our uniqueness is to view the Reology Video Timeline which provides an overview of the ten stages of human development that we go through. This model is based on the work of John and Joyce Weir, Freud, Jung, Maslow and Koehler.
Based on this timeline you can begin to answer the question, “Why am I the way I am?” You can review the timeline and recognize the tasks and rituals you should have completed at each stage of development. But, did you? The answer is, “no”. Because none of complete all the tasks and rituals that are part of each stage of development.
Realistically, it’s not possible. Our parents weren’t perfect and life happens. So each of us stumbles here and there, experiences disappointments we aren’t prepared for, and encounters genetic limitations and cultural pressures that shape us before we know how to shape ourselves.
And although we can’t go back and correct all the “holes” in our development, we can do two things:
- We can identify some of our holes and address them now. For example if we never fully individuated from our parents, that’s something that we can actively choose to do now, regardless of how old we are.
- We can come to accept the holes in our development that we cannot heal. The process of acceptance is not the same as filling in the original hole—getting the love we never received as an infant—but acceptance of our holes will help us understand how to take our holes into consideration so that we honor ourselves.
There are many therapeutic methods that are useful to assist us in looking back at our lives and learning to create a coherent narrative, but I’ve not encountered anything quite as straight forward and elegant as this Reology Video Timeline. I hope you take the time to view it, notice how you feel, and develop a deeper appreciation for who you are. If you like it, please share it with your friends on Facebook and elsewhere.