Our relationships with our parents are particularly influential in our lives. These often affect how we judge our self, our self worth and self confidence, as well as our other relationships. Yet, few of us pause to consider the ideal image of a mother/father/child we are unknowingly measuring our parents and self up to. And how this fictional yardstick can be causing deep rooted frustration, guilt, disappointment and resentment.
As introduced in an earlier post, Great Expectations, the demand of how someone should be often has unconscious roots. Take the example of the mother. “But isn’t a mother supposed to do this?” will be a hurt refrain I often hear in my sessions. We would like to have a Superwoman for a mother, but the truth is she is human, fallible and struggling with her own challenges. We never think of the parents who abuse their children, neglect them or even sell them off. Yes, it does happen. They are parents too. But their human failings automatically exclude them from the role model club we unknowingly hold in our heads. The unrealistic, biased description of the ideal mother/father/sibling/child/spouse will contain all possible virtues and no one we encounter in real life is likely to match up. Not even us.
Consequently, both mother and child suffer from guilt and feelings of not being understood, recognized or validated. Perhaps even suspecting the ultimate betrayal from family – that they were never loved in the way they should have been. The mother who feels her child is uncommonly difficult, also struggles with her own sense of failure. The child who resents the mother also harbors a sense of deep inadequacy that goes on to show up in all his/her relationships. Both failing to meet their idealized versions of self and other.
What compassion and understanding would become possible if we were to drop these expectations of our self and others? If we saw them afresh, as individuals simply doing the best they can? Each one attempting to unlearn and undo their own conditioning? Each one on their own journey, loving and relating in the only way they know how?
To see that the drama and judgment was not deliberate, nor personal, but the collateral consequence of their own challenges?
No one wants to be fixed, improved or molded into another’s idea of who they should be. Not you, not your parents.
What would it be like to give yourself and them the freedom from all stereotypes?
(After all, you cannot ask for what you are unwilling to give.)
Meet them where they are, as they are. As you are.
You may be pleasantly surprised at the changes that ensue and how many things you love and appreciate about them after all.
If you would like to release these old patterns, here is an EFT script to help you along. Tap every day for a week or so, and notice how your relationships change. Though this example says ‘mother’, you can easily modify it for use with any one else.
The following assumes that you are familiar with EFT. You can refer to the one pager to get started. For a more thorough understanding, you may want to get hold of my book ‘Emotional Freedom Techniques’. I am using the Short Cut here.
Drink a glass of water and tap along:
Karate Chop: Even though I have been deeply disappointed by the way my mother has treated me
And I feel betrayed, hurt, misunderstood, unrecognized, unseen
Even though she makes me feel I am not good enough, never was and never will be
I allow myself to release these old hurts and set myself free
Eyebrow: All the ways she has judged me, all the tears she has caused
Side of the Eye: All the fear I have felt, all the times I have felt unsupported, lost
Under the Eye: All the anger, resentment and blame
Under the Nose: That my cellular memories contain
Chin: All the judgement, scars, abuse and pain
Collarbone: That are a consequence of her disappointing, unexpected ways
Under the Arm: All the anguish, hopelessness and helplessness that I accumulated
Top of the Head: I now release, delete, destroy and uncreate
Karate Chop: All the ways in which I expected her to be different from who she was
All the ways in which I wonder why she could not be a better mother and never was
All the ways in which I insist and demand that she be perfect in all ways
Never allowed to be human, to err, have her own opinions or preference
Learn her own lessons, grow in her own ways
Eyebrow: All the ways I habitually judge her and demand that she change
Side of the Eye: Live up to my ideas of who she should be
Under the Eye: All her freedom and criticism restrain
Under the Nose: I uncreate, delete, destroy all cellular memories, accumulations, beliefs, patterns and start again
Chin: I allow her to be who she is
Collarbone: Seeing her anew, as someone being the best she can
Under the Arm: Doing all that she can possibly do
Top of the Head: Loving and accepting who she is, acknowledging she has loved me too
Karate Chop: All the ways in which I judge myself, berate myself or put myself down
All the ways in which I feel I am not good enough, can never improve
Win approval, love, respect, acceptance or recognition
Regardless of what or how much I do
I can never be the perfect trophy child she wants me to
Because I bought into some stories of how I am supposed to be
And believed I was unloved, rejected, unwanted, unheeded,
In this relationship miserable, alone, misunderstood, and lonely
Eyebrow: All this suffering which I have solidified and made unchangeable and real
Side of the Eye: All the pain, patterns, cellular memories, auric imprints and future programs
Under the Eye: Oaths, vows and promises I made to myself
Under the Nose: To hold on to this resentment, to never risk vulnerability again, I now recant, release and clear
Chin: All the known and unknown ways I look to prove
Collarbone: These conscious and unconscious beliefs true – again and again
Under the Arm: All the ways I choose to remain stuck in some imaginary paradigm
Top of the Head: Where by inherently not being good enough, all the fault is on my head
Karate Chop: I acknowledge all this internal confusion, this constant comparison all the time
Of holding myself to unrealistic standards, complaining because other’s approval I don’t find
I give myself permission to set myself free,
Eyebrow: Without demanding or insisting that others agree
Side of the Eye: To my authentic version of who I choose to be
Under the Eye: I remind myself that its only my own approval that I seek
Under the Nose: And the only validation I will believe is when it comes from me
Chin: I give others the same freedom
Collarbone: To be who they are,
Under the Arm: Without making demands that they meet my idealized versions as I have done in the past
Top of the Head: In this space cleared of all past memories, imprints, patterns, disappointments and projections
There is mutual respect and freedom to be
In the ease that comes from dropping all pretensions and expectations
We finally, truly meet.
As we are. Pure, natural, light beings.
Notice how you feel.
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Stepping Out of the Cage (EFT script)
Superwoman- Would you be willing to hang up your cape?
EFT Script for Women
Rules of Engagement – And breaking them
Resigning from Playing the Villain
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