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Reparenting

 

I work with people who suffer from anxiety. In my own life, a lot of my anxiety came from worrying about making mistakes and getting yelled at. It was part of my family dynamic growing up.

This might be part of your story if you’re anxious. Or it may be something a little different – expecting you to figure things out for yourself, or never given a hand in learning how to negotiate studying or school social life, or being made to feel that it was all your fault.

With any of these, what was missing was the kind of parental support that could help you know how to succeed with ease in your adult lives. How to feel confident and completely able to get to where you wanted to go. Most of us did manage to succeed – just like many of our parents managed – but not without a cost in the effects of anxiety and worry.

It’s likely that what you lacked in parental support, your parents did also. They did their best with what was passed onto them. And if you don’t want to pass on the same anxious way of coping to the next generation, then learning to reparent yourself is essential.

How this looks is to support yourself whenever you feel rotten or ashamed from making a mistake or not doing something perfectly the way a perfect mother or father might. Offer yourself praise for what went well. Look at what you could do better next time. Love yourself no matter what, knowing that the way we humans learn is through making mistakes and learning from them.

Many years ago, I was visiting friends in Akron Ohio. As I was walking down a main street, I saw thousands (or maybe hundreds) of Hell’s Angels with their women parading down that street on their motorcycles, and each one of these dangerous looking men and women were holding teddy bears. That’s when I first encountered the idea of re-parenting.

That image will never leave me. Even though it was long ago, the process of re-parenting hasn’t changed very much. While I don’t suggest carrying a teddy with you (unless you want to), it does require developing you own inner parent and opening yourself to loving that young inner child inside you unconditionally. Because it’s the young part of us that is worried and anxious.

Reparenting through self-support means much more than unconditional love. Just as in actual parenting, it helps us learn how to support ourselves through difficult challenges in a way that truly nurtures our growth in a balanced way – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually.

Quote of the Week

I have learned it hard way, hence want to make it easy. Yes your parents were responsible for your childhood trauma, but they is no point in blaming them instead find ways to heal your inner self. They were the reflection of their childhood trauma. Healing starts from understanding and compassion towards others and self.
― Swati

 

How do parents mess you up?

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