When we were young, we absorbed more information than we thought possible for a child. We learned how to cope and cooperate in our family in order to please and “be liked”. No child should have to work to be loved but it happens every day for many children.
The words our parents and grandparents speak to us as children become the foundation of our molded lives. We learn what is acceptable and what isn’t. We learn what behaviors please them and we use those words and actions to make them happy with us – (as if we have that power). We are taught that we do have that power by their reactions to our actions. When we learn what pleases them, we file it into our young minds for future use.
Eventually, through all that learning, a child becomes an adult and applies all the information that has been learned and stored away in their everyday lives. With a healthy, loving upbringing, we have a sturdy foundation and we move through life confidently. With a healthy foundation, as serious issues pop up in life, we hopefully can navigate them with ease and grace. If as a child we learned how to navigate daily life by metaphorically walking on eggshells, we might have a less sturdy/healthy foundation.
As children my brothers and I walked on eggshells. We were careful to speak, careful to take action, and careful not to “rock the boat”. So not to speak for others I will speak for myself in saying that those learned behaviors followed me into my adult life right up to this very day. I’m now learning to embrace healthy behaviors and drown out the survival-modes of my past. It’s not a simple task when the words of bitter and angry parents are still in your head with every decision or action you make.
I haven’t been very good at releasing negative words that were fired at me. I find myself hearing them while doing menial tasks as if they are current ramblings of the day. I also find myself believing some of the lies and hurtful words before I snap back to the present moment and try to force them out. I’m learning how to build a new foundation – a healthy, positive foundation.
Has there been a time when you felt worthless if you couldn’t make someone close to you happy? Have you ever felt unloved by a parent, grandparent or other prominent relative?
Just because someone speaks their opinion about you, it doesn’t make it true. If anyone told you that you were ugly, simple, stupid, useless, worthless, or any negative attack words, you don’t have to believe them. When you were a child, you had to comply with the expectations of a parent but you don’t/didn’t have to carry it into your adult life.
I became the kind of parent to my kids that I hoped to have growing up. I was strict but I was fair and respectful toward my little humans. I allowed them to have and express opinions on things. I allowed them to find their place in the world. I firmly and lovingly guided them while helping to build their foundation for life.
Life isn’t easy all the time. There are moments when you think, “boy, it doesn’t get better than this”, but those moments don’t stay forever. Everything changes. Even bad moments don’t last and for that we are all thankful I am quite sure of that. Change is inevitable but change is also a choice for many situations. It starts with wanting something to be different and personally making that happen. For me that means erasing the angry actions and words that were slung at me from today so I can replace them with healthy inner thoughts. The past will always pop up especially when triggered but it should never be welcomed to stay.
Be confident in yourself today. Give yourself the support you didn’t have back then when learning how to navigate obstacles in the world. Let those negative experiences come but also let them leave. Use positive self-talk to force the hurt out and embrace who you are today and who you can be tomorrow.