Dear Adult You.

Inhaling…Exhaling…Centering…Feeling your body…Feeling your Presence…Becoming aware of the feeling of your Essence self and your connection to the Source of Life Itself.

Ahhh….Breathe that in…

Today, let us hold an intention to pay attention to the younger aspects of ourselves.

We all have them.  No matter how loving and well-intentioned our parents were, none of us had “perfect” childhoods.  How could that even be possible?  No human is perfect, so no parent could be perfect, so no childhood could be perfect…

Perfection is impossible and the truth is, flawed parenting is more than okay, it is exactly what we need to grow.lonely-girl-dock

From a psychological perspective, as children we do not need perfect parenting.  In fact, according to D.W. Winnicott, (an English Object Relations theorist and psychoanalyst who was especially influential in the field of Attachment Theory), what infants and children need is a “good enough mother.”  He was gender specific at the time, but for our purposes, let’s oversimplify his version, and expand “mother” to “parent.”

In this view, in very simplistic terms, if a child is provided with “good enough parenting,” ie, a loving, caring, warm, protective, and safe environment, the child has the space to naturally mature and develop psychologically, emotionally, and physically in his or her own unique way relative to each one’s personality and circumstances. 

The imperfections of the care-giving adults are actually necessary to provide opportunities for the child’s developing sense of self to begin take form as they learn to cope with the many ways their adults “fail” them.  They begin to develop their own inner resources in response to these “failures.”

Maybe my father is never home.

Maybe my mother spends more time with my older sister than with me. 

Maybe dad takes us to all our sports events, but is always sad and isn’t ever totally present.

Maybe mom makes sure we are fed and clean, but she yells and is angry a lot.

lonely-bw-boyWe could go on and on describing ways parents “fail” their children. Always remembering that every single one of them were doing the best they could, with who they were and what they knew, at the  time. 

Probably, most of our parents were much more awake and aware than their parents were; and yet, there is no way that any of them could show up for their children one hundred percent of the time; nor can we, even with our new level of consciousness.

As children, we experienced those “let downs” very personally.  By definition, children are narcissistically focused.  It’s all about me.  This is natural, and a normal part of human development.

Our younger selves had no ability to comprehend the actual reasons that father is not home (he is working over-time to pay the bills); mother spends more time with sister (she has special needs); why dad disappears (he has his own wounds around intimacy); or mom melts down (she is overwhelmed with the demands of modern life). 

Our younger selves could not understand that most of the reasons have little to do with us, and more to do with the struggles and challenges and wounds of our parents.

However, because our survival actually was in the hands of our parents, our young minds needed to see our parents as infallible; they had to be: I am small, in order for me to be safe, they must be able to protect me.  When we are small, our lives depend on the belief that our parents are omnipotent – they are God to us.

Yet, there is always a dissonance when, as children, we feel neglected, dismissed, abandoned, or afraid in response to our parents actions.  “How could I feel so badly in response to someone who is supposed to be my protector, who is supposed to be wise and kind and gentle and understanding and compassionate…?”

The only way to make sense of these feelings is to blame ourselves.  Our Ego steps in and begins to create the stories from which we build the rest of our lives…lonely-kid-gazing

There must be something wrong with me. 

I must be too sensitive, too fat, too loud; not pretty enough, not smart enough, not athletic enough.

I am undeserving. 

I am not good enough.

I am un-loveable.

While this seems so self-defeating, it actually makes a lot of sense.  Our Ego is working diligently to keep us “safe.”  So, if we develop a cause of this dissonance that has to do with ME, our Ego tells us, then we have the chance to work really hard to make the negative behaviors and feelings go away.

And the stories continue…

lonely-sepia-girlIf I swallow my emotions, lose weight, stay silent; become sexual, over achieve, batter my body, etc., etc. etc…

Maybe, just maybe…

I will be seen and heard.

I will be valued.

I will be loved.

Today, let us pay attention to how these stories continue play out in our daily lives. 

Let us look for them in every aspect of our lives.  They show up all over the place.  With our friends, our kids, our family members…Especially, they show up in our intimate relationships…

(There is a reason for that too…but that is for another day…)

For today, let us be gentle with our Ego Stories and the younger parts of ourselves that have yet to understand that these Stories no longer serve us, or fit in our Adult lives…

For today, let us hold ourselves in Love and with Light as a way to heal our younger selves…

Breathe consciously, Love You and remember:

I am brilliant;

I am magnificent;

I am a being of Love and Light.

I am here to bring my Essence Self to the world.

“Beautify your inner dialogue. Beautify your inner world with love light and compassion. Life will be beautiful.”   ~ Amit Ray

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