Some people feel that they are limited by their genes, by what is encoded in their DNA. While studies show that identical twins raised in different environments have some strikingly similar tastes and behaviors, one must be careful not to use genetics as an excuse. "My family is prone to heart attacks" or "My mother was overweight" can be an excuse to live and eat in unhealthy patterns. While those unhealthy patterns were probably learnt from our mothers and grandmothers (and fathers and grandfathers), they are not necessarily inherited. Now of course, there are genetics involved, yet we must also give credence to all the studies about the power of the mind.
It has been shown that what people believe about themselves becomes true. We have all heard of self-fulfilling prophecies. In many instances we apply these to others, not seeing that we fulfill our own self-prophecies daily. Statements such as "migraines run in my family" may be true, but that does not necessarily make us victims. We have choices we can make. There is a lot of new information as to how to alleviate migraines, and also prevent them. Some of the answers lie in nutrition, others in fitness regimens, and others in alleviating stressful situations in our lives. So even though migraines might be hereditary, there is something that we can do. We do not have to bow our heads and say "There's nothing I can do. It's in my genes."
Open Your Eyes and See...
We need to look at ourselves realistically, using what we know of our family background and patterns, and then decide where we want to go from there. In some areas of our life, that's easy. Just because your parents grew up in a city (or a farm) doesn't mean that you have to live there. That's obvious. But is it just as obvious that because our parents were alcoholics (or cigarette smokers, or overweight, or workaholics, or died of a heart attack or cancer, etc.) that we don't have to follow in their footsteps? Yes, we may have the tendency to do so. We may have inherited some genetic patterns that predispose us to certain diseases, we may have absorbed their behavior as a child learns from their role model -- but we have the benefit of research and advanced technology. We also have the advantage of knowing the power of mind over matter.
Patients who are told by their doctors that they have 3 months to live, often do exactly that. Is it because the doctor was right, or is it because the patient believed the doctor was "omnipotent" and thus fell into self-fulfilling prophecy manifestation. On the other hand, patients who refuse to believe the doctor, often go out and find alternative ways to regain their health, and not only live the 3 months " prescribed" by the doctor, but go on to live 10, 20 and sometimes 30 years.
I know a man who was told by the doctor over 30 years ago that he had one year to live. Why? Because he had cirrhosis of the liver. The doctor told him that unless he quit drinking, he'd be a goner in one year. Well, that was thirty years ago. The man is still alive. No, he didn't quit drinking, yet he refused to believe the verdict of the doctor, and 30 years later, he's still alive. Now, that's the power of the mind. Sometimes stubbornness is enough to get you through. Refusing to die, or refusing to let the doctor be "right", can be a powerful manifestation tool.
Choosing: To Be or Not To Be...
So are we locked in to our genetics? If we want to, yes. But if we want to be stubborn about it, take charge of our life, and use the power of our mind along with the tools of knowledge, we can bypass the programming and we can rise above the limitations of our cells. We are not this body. This body is our vehicle, the "car" that carries our soul or spirit. In the same way that your car may have certain weaknesses, we also know that taking care of it extremely well will allow you to drive your vehicle without having it break down (or at least it will delay that occurrence).
So am I my mother? No! I may have certain inherited similarities. I may have certain tendencies. I certainly grew up being taught her beliefs. But, I can now rise above the patterning and know that I am not she. I am my own person, and can choose my own beliefs, my own illness or health, and my own future. Knowing that we are not "stuck" in our ancestral patterns is the first step in the direction of freedom and liberation from pain and fear.
Freedom: The Courage to Be Yourself
Freedom by Osho helps readers to identify the obstacles to their freedom, both circumstantial and self-imposed, to choose their battles wisely, and to find the courage to be true to themselves. The Insights for a New Way of Living series aims to shine light on beliefs and attitudes that prevent individuals from being their true selves. The text is an artful mix of compassion and humor, and readers are encouraged to confront what they would most like to avoid, which in turn provides the key to true insight and power.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com