Some thoughts by the fire.
For many of us, it is so easy to see ourselves in terms of our past or our family's past. The lives of our parents or grandparents or in some cases are great-grandparents can shape who we are, our values, our attitudes and our behaviours. We may grow up thinking this is how I'm meant to be, this is what feels natural. Our childhood and our schooldays have their own influence too, so that our experiences then shape who we think we are and how the world works and therefore how we want to inhabit it.
Some of these influences are good and beneficial but some are much less so. Some of our beliefs don't help us at all and yet we may cling on to them, because it is what we know and we find it hard to believe and imagine that we can actually step away and beyond them. An old belief or attitude can be so ingrained in us that it becomes like a jacket that we have worn for years. It has always been there, so life without it - even though it makes our life difficult at times or constricting- would feel strange. Until that is, we let go of that jacket, which can sometimes happen in an instant. All it often takes, is a simple question - from oneself or another. The question may be as simple as 'why?' or "why do you need to do that,?" The answer may often lie the past, e.g. "that's what I thought I always would do." But why define yourself in the present by what you said, promised or did in the past, or by what someone else said or did in the past? Realising that you don't need to do or be what you were in the past - even the recent past - can be hugely liberating.