Some of frustrations we feel during repatriation are the direct result of the assumptions we have made and of the judgments we continue to make. We assume that coming home will be easier than going to another country, we assume that our friends have been sitting around waiting for us to return, we assume that things run pretty much the same way they did when we left, and we assume that no matter how much we changed, we can still fit in, no problem. After all, this is our home.
Then when we get there and our assumptions don’t come true, we find ourselves judging both our ability to adjust and the people/country we came back to. We pass judgments on others that they are not curious enough about our experiences, that when we want to talk life overseas they want to discuss a new mall opening, that they all seem very close-minded when compared to people we met during our travels, and we judge that the country we came back to seems more like a prison to us now.
This judgmental perspective creates an atmosphere of bitterness, unwillingness to engage, and a strong desire to get on the plane as soon as possible. We end up not really wanting to even give home a chance – and if the circumstances are such that we need to live in our home country, our adjustment becomes a lot harder than it needs to be.
In addition, these thoughts and judgments continue to swirl around in our brains and often have no place to go. This gets us thinking the same thoughts over and over again, thus reinforcing the neurons that have already been created by those negative thoughts. This leads to a set pathway in thinking and so we generate the same thoughts, engage in the same behavior, and create habitual thinking and patterns that are not useful for us.
Putting those thoughts on paper is a great way of disengaging from them and seeing them for what they are – a flurry of negativity that may have been invading our thinking. When we write our thoughts and judgments down, we can clearly see them and then begin to edit, change, cross-out, and adjust where needed.
So try this exercise:
- Write out every judgment you hold, every assumption you have made, and ever bitter thought that comes to you when you think of being back home.
- Look over what you’ve written and think about how these thoughts are affecting you
- Then decide which of those thoughts and judgments you are willing to let go off – and decide how you are going to do it.
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