How many of us have had challenges with our parents. Our self esteem, self worth has been affected because of how we felt growing up to how we feel about ourselves today. This has been an interesting month for me I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people whose core foundation has been affected by their relationship with their parents. Now ask yourself these questions; Do you feel you are not being heard? Do you feel your parents have a meme or view point that you don’t agree with but if you disagree with them they make you feel terrible for having an opinion? Do you feel that your parents don’t show you the affection you would like? Do you feel that you’re not accepted for who you are?
In my personal situations growing up myself with my Grandmother from the early age of 2 years old because my mother was going through her own health challenges. My Grandmother having gone through some hard times herself they both turned to alcohol for support. I remember growing up in a house where my family would play cards all night, drinking and arguing very loud. They would debate about family, politics, government, post office…etc to the early morning, then cook each other breakfast and go to work. Now this didn’t happen every night but enough that I had to find a fix so I could sleep at night. I finally learned at a very young age if I put a blanket over my head I could make it quiet enough I could sleep. I would cover my eyes and ears but leave my mouth out so I could breath. I did that most of my life and if I wasn’t able to cover my head I wouldn’t be able to sleep.
I am sure at this point your thinking ok lots of people have challenges with their mothers so what. The challenge is this, when it affects who you are and what your perception is of yourself then there is an issue. I was lucky because I learned at a early age from the school of hard knocks that my family was who they are and I could only be around them when they weren’t in their drunken state. But when they were in their drunken state I would take off, went out with friends, slept over at a buddies house…etc. Whatever I could do to stay away when they started drinking. Plus I learned to ignore them when they spoke to me because to me there was no logic about what they were saying, repeating themselves, talking louder to be heard, both arguing the same point which both of them were right they just wanted to be acknowledge that they were right, which having an outside seat they both were saying the exact same thing. I call this the drunken state, which this is important for later. I learned my core values very early that when they started drinking I had to get out for myself. I became very independent at an early age going from dependent on my family to independent. Now don’t get me wrong going through this at an early age really affected my relationships with girlfriends which I am apologize to all my ex-girlfriends because I didn’t value women like I should. Because my perception of my women role models at the time were of these 2 women that were strong willed, strong family values, didn’t express themselves physically, and always getting drunk to deal with mental and emotional issues.
There is a lot more to this story but I want to give you what I have learned through the school of hard knocks. Then through learning how to be a Holistic Lifestyle Coach working with people Personally, Professionally, Spiritually, as well learning how to help people overcome Addiction, Obesity and Disease. Which I now coach people internationally. I’ve learned these fundamental things at an early age and unknowingly applied them to myself:
You have to look after “I”, then “We” which is your family or close friends. The “I” is looking after yourself emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Making sure you are listening to yourself and learning what makes you happy or what makes you feel upset. Not listening to anyone else’s opinion unless you are in a drunken state mentally and emotionally. For example if your Mom tells you are not a good person because you don’t call her every night at 6pm and you believe her. That becomes a challenge and it is good to get a clear outside opinion from someone who can assess the situation logically. Now I told you I would refer back to the drunken state. A drunken state is when you can’t see clearly the challenges because there are other things influencing you and you can’t think logically.
Now this is very important! I see so many people having low self-esteem, feeling unwanted, or not loved, going into depression or trying to find love in other areas. Here it is: if someone doesn’t want to change it is their responsibility to deal with their emotions and mental challenges not yours. I want you to read that last sentence over and over again until you really get it. This is the key to being able to let go for yourself so you can heal. Let the person that is negative live with their negativity. I know it’s extremely hard to take control of the situation and walk away for you. There are so many things that will pop into your head, I can’t leave that’s my mom, then you’ll try to reason with yourself. “It wasn’t that bad she called me all those names, she was just upset. If I tell her I love her she will understand and maybe next time she wouldn’t say those things”. Trust me I have been there and can give you my personal experiences.
So many people I work with take on the emotional and mental challenge of their parents. They feel if they can just do that one thing everything will be ok. Their mother will love them because now they see it your way. Unless the person truly wants to change and has a driving force to change for themselves you are only setting yourself up for disappointment and more heartache.
Going back to the things you need to do
1) Develop your “I” values of looking after yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
2) Do not try to change your mother, the only person you have 100% control of changing is you.
3) Byron Katie had 4 questions which are great to use when you are doubting yourself. Lets say you don’t feel loved is the issue. Here is how to use these questions;
- Is it true that you’re not loved?
- Is it absolutely true that you’re not loved?
- How do you feel with the thought that you are not loved?
- How do you feel without that thought of not being loved?
I really want you to get this so I am going to give you a dialog example
Question – Is it true that you’re not loved?
Answer – Well I think it’s true, my Mom doesn’t tell me she loves me, doesn’t hug me.
Question- Is it absolutely true that you’re not loved?
Answer- Well I know my Mom took care of me put a roof over my head. I am in a loving relationship with my significant other, I love myself and I am proud of who I have become.
Question-How do you feel with the thought that you are not loved?
Answer- I feel terrible, lonely, sad, depressed, I feel I need to fix her.
Question- How do you feel without that thought that you’re not loved?
Answer- If I didn’t have the thought of not being loved, I would be happy, I wouldn’t be sad or depressed.
I give you these tips to hopefully help you to overcome the challenges that have developed because of issues with your parents. Don’t get me wrong these are just tips to try immediately but I do highly recommend you seek professional coaching/counseling. Don’t do it on your own life is about community and they are lots of people and resources out there that can help.
Lots Love & Chi
Clinical Director, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Reiki Practitioner & Professional Speaker