[To view a video version of this blog please follow this link - we recommend it, it's a very touching video: https://vimeo.com/433327372]
I wonder how many of us would benefit from a bit of Reparenting?
All of us, I suspect.
We may have had loving parents and a loving home, but for many of us that wasn’t the case. A roof over our head and food on the table meets only the most basic of human needs. We all need to FEEL loved.
I’m still suffering, and Moodscope is a community for those of us who could be described as “a work in progress”! May this blog help at least some of us.
Mum’s death last year has opened access to a lot of unexamined, repressed feelings. She was deeply damaged by her own childhood traumas and was not easily able to express love to most people. Animals? Now that was another matter! She poured out love on animals.
As I have worked through some of my deep issues with an excellent therapist, we’ve got down to the possible root of why I have loathed myself for so long: I never felt loved. Never.
Mum told me many times that she loved me, but it seemed incongruent with her lack of affection, and very at odds with the attention she gave to the animals in her life. A dog had a better chance of being ‘loved’ in any of the embracing ways I’d have liked. I’d have gladly swapped places with a dog.
Dad was absent much of my childhood – for many reasons. It is not surprising that I felt abandoned, unwanted, unloved, and not the right person. On this last point, Mum wanted a girl and I was thus ‘wrong’ from birth. My sister and Dad also have often ‘joked’ about bringing the wrong baby home from the hospital. Unsurprisingly, I never found that funny.
My life-long quest for love (in all the wrong places and ways) has caused chaos, so I am needing to go back to basics: self-acceptance.
Each night, when I have trouble sleeping, I cuddle into a pillow and wrap my arms around it as if embracing my younger self. This is my reparenting mantra: “Neil (my first name), I love you unconditionally. And I forgive you.” We’ll leave the forgiveness for another blog. The point is I systematically go through my life and parent myself. I start in the womb, “Neil-in-the-womb, I want you to know that you are wanted and are loved unconditionally.” Then I say the same to the Neil-at-birth, followed by every age up to where I am now. It’s as if the Lex of today goes back to every point on the timeline to reassure and rebuild the Neils of yesterday.
What’s the result? It’s early days. I’ve recognised the potential source of so much self-destructive behaviour and started to reconstruct my psyche. Most importantly, it’s an amazing way to get to sleep! Way better than counting sheep.
Is it time for the current you to go back to the younger you and let them know how much you love them?
A Moodscope member.