Change must begin somewhere – let yours start here!
I am always so deeply saddened when I meet with clients who were never taught that they are lovable. I become infuriated with parents who had the audacity to emotionally or physically abuse their children. No matter how much understanding I have of parental dysfunction, it is simply heartbreaking to know that a perfect human being is born and may learn to believe – through no fault of their own – that they are unlovable.
Some people find solace in religion, believing that God loves them and for many – that is enough. Yet for probably as many – God is intangible and the ability to emotionally connect to feeling loved is empty. As a counselor, it is incredibly challenging helping people reformulate all the messages so deeply rooted in their minds that convince them they are unlovable but I continue to try.
Each time I ask this question: “What child have you EVER met who isn’t simply lovable?” I have yet to have someone give me an example. We want our parents to love us – after all, they created us, brought us into the world, and it is an assumed responsibility, right? For volumes of reasons, SOME parents are incapable of demonstrating love in an understandable or healthy way. THEIR dysfunction creates a spiral of behavioral interactions that we, as children, are unable to interpret. As children, we are incapable of comprehending our parent’s attitudes and behavior as anything other than ‘truth’ or a sense of ‘normal’. Parents, by default, are omnipotent in the perception of an infant or toddler. As we grow and notice that other children’s experiences are different, that they are loved, we incorrectly assume that our life is different because of ‘us’ – that it must be because of ‘me’ that my situation is different. WRONG!
I want to shout from the rooftops – EVERY CHILD BORN IS LOVEABLE!!
As the mother of four fabulous, fantastic, insanely imperfect children I am qualified to say that not all ‘behavior’ is lovable. A two-year-old’s temper tantrum in the middle of the mall is not fun; bedwetting at 2 am is not fun, practicing spelling words for the um-teenth time after a long day of work while cooking dinner is not fun; picking up dirty laundry and week old sandwiches off the bedroom floor is not fun; nor is repeating myself two dozen times a day fun BUT… I am the adult … and my JOB is to separate the behavior from the person EVERY SINGLE TIME as I set boundaries and discipline.
If your parent’s failed to separate the behavior from the person – it is on THEM!! YOU are not your behavior. YOU are not a failure. YOU are not irresponsible. YOU are not intrinsically a liar. You may have failed at something, or behaved irresponsibly, or even told a lie but those things DO NOT define WHO you are or your worthiness to be loved! They only speak to what you do; many times out of fear of not being accepted.
Even though I am tempted to blame, and it may sound as though I am pointing a finger, I know all-to-well that most of the parents I am talking about are not consciously aware that their own dysfunctional behavior is or has been damaging the emotional construction of their child(ren). Parents are laden with their own wounds, sense of ignorance, fears, and so on. This rant is not to establish blame but to foster an understanding within one’s SELF that their person – THEY – are indeed lovable; that they were born that way and have always been – someone worth loving.
I just wanted you to know.