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The Inner Child And Our Relationship To Our Parents
Photo: Bandini, Morguefiles.com
Relationships and the Quality of Our Lives
In our modern world, it is easy to think that having more is the ultimately key to fulfillment. Acquiring new things in our lives can give us some satisfaction. But there is a limit. Getting what we want is extremely exciting at first (new clothes, new job, new car, new house etc.) However, once the excitement wears down, we feel a void inside. And this causes us to continue pursuing outer material things.
However, the relationships we have with ourselves and other people is what actually colors the emotional experience of our lives.
Relationships Create the Fabric of Our Life Experiences
We may be the best at what we do. But if we don't have harmonious relationships with our co-workers and clients, we will not feel happy at our jobs.
We may think that if we do what we love, we will find happiness. But again, when you turn what you love into a service, you face demands from other people. This not only includes customers , but also the sentiments and attitudes of your market. When these demands are tied to financial obligations like paying the bills, this can be stressful. Your needs should be in balance with the needs of others. And again, this points to the issue of relationships with others.
Therefore, no matter how much we have, it is our relationships (with ourselves and others) that affect our ability to enjoy life.
Our Parents Shape Our Emotional Lives
As babies, our parents represented our outside world. We received food, clothing and shelter from them. Inside, we also had strong need. We needed to receive the feelings of love, complete acceptance and validation. We needed to feel completely understood and connected. We feared the feelings of isolation, abandonment and being alone.
These patterns leave emotional patterns and grooves, like currents of feelings within ourselves. And these feelings translate into messages we form about ourselves and our relationship to the world.
On a healthy level some of these messages may say things like:
- I am lovable
- I always receive love even if I make mistakes
- My actions are separate from who I am
- If I make a mistake, I can just learn to do things differently and still be loved
- Boundaries are positive
- Life feels wonderful
Other people respond to these emotional patterns which emanate from us. And they often behave and react to us in ways that often reflect our relationship with our parents.
It's like leaving a footprint in wet sand. Those with the same sized feet will fit into this imprint.
Our Parents and Our Relationships With Ourselves
Often, if you look at the tone of your inner dialogue, you may find that it mirrors the emotional tone of your parents and how they related to you.
If your parent was loving, kind and patient with you, these qualities are often reflected in your inner dialogue with yourself. Even if they said the correct things, you were probably able to pick up on their genuine emotional state (whether this was apathy or true recognition of your feelings). And this is what leaves a stronger imprint.
If your parents were emotionally detached and highly critical of your best efforts, you may
Our Parents and Our Relationships With Our Peers and Others
In childhood, when issues arose between ourselves and other people, our parents often had to intervene.
Some parents will get involved in a way that is fair for everyone. Some may fairly or unfairly blame their child, or even compare them unfavorably to Or they may put their child on a pedestal to the detriment of others.
This sends messages to the child about where they stand in the social order of things and how they relate to others.
Parents are only human. However, the foundation they have set for us may need to be addressed in order to actually experience the changes we want.
Our Inner Child
In other hubs, I wrote about how our inner child continues to react to past events. He or she continues to through the same emotional lens that was created in our early years.
If our parents were there for us and did a great job of providing for us emotionally and physically, then accept these gifts to make the most out of your current life.
Keep in mind, that they are only human. Even if they were the best parents, you may find areas where your adult self needs to supplement their parenting. Examples might include:
- setting a stronger sense of structure to better organize your life
- motivating yourself to go above an beyond your current achievements
- acknowledging and developing your own hidden talents to the fullest
- permitting yourself to be more assertive
You may have had parents who severely fell short of meeting your needs. They may have been too worried about their careers. They may not have received the love and support they needed from their own parents.
Your parents may have been angry or even abusive, creating patterns that sabotage your life today. These are situations that need to be healed.
Your adult self needs to step in as a third person to re parent or supplement the efforts of your biological family in order to change your emotional experience of life.