That course (and one particular part of it that I am going to try my best to share with you) changed the entire trajectory of my life in the most positive ways ever so that I can be here and now and completely intact the way I am.
Here's the core understanding of what the exercise is meant to teach and most specifically SHOW on the most individualized and personalized (that means for YOU, alone) lesson to learn and fully know...
Here's the thing of your life (as much as my life):
Dysfunction is not fun (nor is it a joking or laughing matter) no matter how many times we might try and make light of it so that it is that much more palatable for any of us to taste as much as allow to consume us and become what our lives are.
The real problem with dysfunction, though, is that we often learn it when we least expect it and then it will conveniently hibernate within us only to be awoken (and in such a way that is scary for ALL to experience) and we will be left feeling helpless, hopeless, and confused about how it got there to start.
For some types of dysfunction, it's easy to identify and say, "Hey... maybe this isn't right." For other types of dysfunction, it's so much harder to identify it and then call it what it really is so that you can truly have a life (and be a person) that you would rather be.
Here's how it works...
Step (1) Get a fresh piece of paper and your favorite writing/drawing utensil (pen or pencil - doesn't matter)
Step (2) Draw an outline of a house with enough room for you to write words inside. Don't get caught up with how the house looks. Just a basic idea of a house is fine.
Here is an example:
Step (3) Start writing as many descriptive words as possible inside that house that remind you of the home/house you grew up in when you were little.
Examples of descriptive words would include the following: neat/tidy, chaotic, quiet, loud, bright, lonely, warm, inviting, bare, open.
Do this for about 3-5 minutes and try and write as fast as you can - kind of like recording a "brain storm."
Step (4) Once you have written your words, take a moment to read ALL of them.
Here's how this works. It's very likely that what you read will be what you "create" - meaning: what happens/occurs in your home and life (whether you realize it or not) is your idea of "home sweet home" no matter if you agree with it, like it, or not. This is the standard of "home" that you have learned from the beginning.
This means that you will involuntarily (meaning: without your own permission), end up creating all of the words/thing written in your house UNLESS you INTENTIONALLY do something to keep yourself from doing so.
And this is the writing exercise that my college professor guided an entire class through during that one elective class of human development way back in my undergrad years. When we all finished the exercise, you could have hear a pin drop in the room because the majority of us were stunned by the truth of it all. I think the class even ended early that day because the gravity (meaning: the metaphorical heaviness of it all) was very hard to deal with in the moment.
Does all of this mean you are doomed from the start? (No.)
What does it mean? Well... just that, dysfunction is something that (perhaps) we learn how to have in our life (and live with) at a time and of an age when we just don't know any better. However, once you learn about it... that means you know about it and can do something about it so that you can live without it if you want to.
And even though it might take a while to learn how to live without dysfunction (because maybe you didn't even know it was there to start), now that you know that it was there all along, maybe if you learn a little more about how/where it gets it power? You can start the process to pull the plug on it so then your house can be illuminated with GOOD stuff that will help it feel like the "home sweet home" you always wanted it to be.