The compassionate parent

Many of us provide for ourselves when it comes to food, shelter, occupation, and other resources. Those are the things we begin learning at a young age, in school and from the communities we grew up in. Fewer of us are as diligent about providing for and supporting ourselves emotionally. 

This is particularly true when we run into disappointment, setbacks or failure. If you are honest with yourself, what do you do in these life moments? What is your emotional first aid or first responder?

When we feel hurt, we instinctively want to seek comfort in a loved one. Children seek comfort in the adults who care for them. Maybe that instinct never really leaves us. And unfortunately for some of us, we may not have had an adult who we could trust and rely on in those times. So we may continue to yearn for someone who didn’t exist. Or we blame the people who should have been there to support us. We may blame them for our suffering and the effect it has on our present life choices. We may say: I don’t like who I am because of how they treated me. 

Eventually we need to learn to be the parent…for ourselves. Because continuing to give up our power over life and blaming other people for our unhappiness leads to an endless cycle of low self esteem and self worth. We can perpetuate our own suffering forever in this way. 

There is no denying that the experiences we had growing up and the people who played their roles in them were instrumental influences for how we feel in our skin. We are the product of our upbringing and as children, we had much less control over many of the events in our lives. But we also have free will, and now more than ever in human history, more options for choosing how to heal and how to live authentically. Living authentically from choices made out of love and compassion…not dictated by resentment and old patterns.

By being the parent we always needed and wanted, we liberate ourselves from unnecessary suffering. 

/Can you tell what is authentically yours by choice and what was given from your parents or family? How does that sit with you? How do you give to yourself now? If you need more clarity, try consulting someone with more expertise in the area. There are so many resources available, including therapy, inner child work, meditation, and of course, breathwork. By reaching out, you’d have taken your first step towards parenting yourself with compassion. 

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