I want to talk about something difficult, and I want to ask that if you want to comment that you make sure to read my words carefully, because I am writing them so.
In the comments and elsewhere, when we are discussing depression and childhoods and our current lives, there seems to be some common themes surrounding parents and blame.
Mainly, that we don't want to blame our parents.
For what they did.
Keep reading carefully, please.
First of all, the life you have right now? The one you are living? That is all yours. You built it. If you don't like it, it's no one else's fault.
But the life you had as a child? (I speak of the ones that were difficult.) The one where you weren't loved unless you made them feel good about themselves? The one where you were made to feel afraid...all...the...time? The one where you were made to feel fat, stupid, not good enough?
That childhood? Totally your parents' fault.
Now, I don't care what kind of life they had before they were parents. Once they became parents and you were their child, they had a vast and deep responsibility to you. We know how children are made and it is avoidable.
I don't care that you think they were doing the best they could. They were not.
You don't want to blame them, but I am here to tell you that you are allowed.
For what they did.
We do not hesitate to blame criminals for their actions. And in a philosophical, emotional, spiritual, ethical, and moral way, many (too many) parents act in criminal ways.
Why? Because they can. Because this culture says that children are property.
Again, your life right now? Your responsibility. But to take full responsibility, you will have to admit what happened. You cannot repress it.
I can't say this enough: If you insist on repressing your true and valid feelings toward whatever happened to you, it will continue to show its ugly self in your life in a million ways.
You will never have the life you really want, because this monster will always lurk, will always poison everything.
The real Secret? The one the Secret people don't tell you? The reason the Secret doesn't actually work for most people or they give up? You have to work through your crap so you can honestly and truly know who you are before you can ever begin to "ask the universe" for what you want.
So take the first step: Be brave. It's okay. The sky will not fall. God will not strike you down. You will not die.
Name it. You must name it. Naming it will then hand the power of it back to you and you will move on in ways you never knew you could.
Then and only then can you choose bliss.
Here's an excerpt from Paul M. Martin's Original Faith: What Your Life is Trying to Tell You that I came across on the excellent blog MommyMystic.
I love this quote because there's no children being locked in closets and not fed or being burned by cigarettes, "just" children not being loved for who they are:
A parent or other primary caretaker either does not love us or, far more often, does not express it clearly and consistently enough for us to be sure of it. An experienced lack of love from a parent is the fundamental source of the wounds that so many of us receive in childhood.
When this occurs, it is because our parent is somewhat ambivalent about his or her feelings for us. The parent doesn’t completely accept something about our real nature. We may not be smart enough or talented enough. We may be too physically rugged or assertive for a girl or too small and quiet for a boy. We may be too inhibited or not self-disciplined enough.
Our interests and aspirations may be wrong. We may not like working with our hands enough—or with our intellects. We may like music too much and not take enough interest in sports, or the other way around.
The real problem, of course, is that we are not sufficiently like our parents or their aspirations to satisfy their ego. Many of us spend years of our adult lives coming out from under the burden of this unnecessary baggage. As parents, this is a burden we can and should avoid passing on to our own children.
Having preconceived notions of what our children must be like in order to be fully acceptable to us is the equivalent of telling them a terrible lie. What our children hear is that they are not good enough – that something is wrong with or lacking in their very being.
Though it’s a lie, children readily believe it. With little or no knowledge of the outside world as a potential source of acceptance and approval, young children are in no position to realize, “This is only my parent’s hang-up. No reflection on me!” They believe the lie in the act of hearing it.
Viewing the abilities of our children as a means to satisfy our ego desires is unhealthy for parents as well as children. Indeed, outgrowing egoism is a good two-word summary of our primary developmental task as adults. And clearly it helps our children develop trust, confidence and self love when they see themselves with eyes unclouded by the illusion that that they were put on earth to be made in our image. It even becomes that much easier for them to take first steps toward standing in right relation to the greater truth that embraces us all.
(Photo Credit: Christine C. Reed, Cemetery, 2009)