One thing that seems to bring out a lot of resistance with my clients is when they’re complaining about their partner and we arrive at the part of the conversation about how what we usually want from our partners is what we need to learn to give ourselves.
And I totally get it – when we go down this path of radical responsibility and start to consider that we need to give ourselves what we need, there’s naturally going to be resistance.
Often what we’re longing for is the exact same thing we needed when we were younger that our caregivers didn’t give us – and that as children, we absolutely deserved. To be heard, seen, loved and cared for. So it makes sense that we want someone else to give it to us.
While it’s nice when we luck out and someone else meets those needs that we felt we lacked, humans can also be notoriously unreliable, and when we put our happiness in the hands of how other people think, feel and act, we are setting ourselves up for some unnecessary suffering.
AND responsibility for our happiness is a crazy heavy burden to put onto someone else. Usually, when two people are dancing this tango, we end up with codependency, when one partner needs the other partner, who in turn, needs to be needed. Yikes.
When we are open to the possibility that we can indeed give ourselves what we need – and not require that it comes from someone else – we create more freedom and confidence in our lives. We are available for more joy in our life when we release the need that this all come from someone else.
What we can do to give ourselves what we need is reparenting.
Sometimes we may feel it’s “too late,” that we are broken in our fear or abandonment or other wounds. We may believe our fear of being abandoned and our apparent “neediness” will always define us. But this is just story being created by your mind. It is abolsutely possible for you to heal this relationship – yourself.
When we’re reparenting, we’re giving ourselves what we didn’t receive from our caregivers back when we were a kid to help heal those wounds. Because here’s the thing: no matter what kind of kid we were (even if you were a little shit 😉 every one of us as a child is worthy and lovable and deserves to be seen, heard, and cared for.
This is a way we can rewrite our past that’s accessible to us right now, so in this episode we go through a few skills we use in reparenting:
// We can start with doing the work to discover what we longed for or needed as a child and didn’t receive, and how it affected us. We may not see what it is at first, but one thing I’ve learned over the years which is a tell-tale sign of a wound is when someone is dismissive of painful childhood events.
We can ask ourselves questions like: Was I listened to? Did people ignore me or dismiss me? Was my emotional experience validated?
Do I tend to resist or distract from my emotions? Do I blame others for my feelings and actions? Do I react and act out? While this may have helped us feel safe growing up, it is usually not helpful or healthy when we use these defense mechanisms as adults.
// We can begin to connect with what reality must have been like for us as a kid. We live in a world that basically tells us to suck it up and grow up. Yet many of us adults still walk around like little children. It takes time and work to support that place of emotional adulthood when it hasn’t been modeled well and when our wounds feel fresh decades later. To to truly heal includes connecting with our inner child and giving that part of us what we needed and deserved.
// Learning what our caregivers couldn’t teach us is often another necessary step. Often they were not able to model for us how to have healthy boundaries, or how to be accountable for our actions. We can do this along with cultivating understanding – and hopefully even compassion – for why that may have been the case (many caregivers suffered from their own traumas). We might need to learn skills like:
:: Setting healthy boundaries and determining the consequences when those boundaries are violated.
:: Resilience – the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; the ability to bounce back, and ideally bounce back better.
:: “Frustration tolerance” – our ability to accept that things don’t always go as planned and be able to react from our wise mind and emotional maturity.
:: Radical responsibility/accountability. Being able to apologize and make amends when we’ve done something wrong is a skill that emotionally mature people have, and that many folks lack.
Of course, all this is easier said than done and there’s no magic pill.
However, the capacity to heal that reparenting offers us if powerful and opens up so many more possibilities in our life for freedom and open-heartedness.
You deserve love, freedom, and happiness in your life. You really do deserve those things you didn’t receive, and you have the capacity to provide these things for yourself.
What’s one way you can give yourself something you are longing for someone else to give you? It can be small – I order myself flowers and that makes me happy when I receive them. I book myself massages and hire babysitters when I need alone time. And when I notice I am suffering, I literally hug myself, place my hand on my heart, and say kind words to myself.
While I would love someone to do those things for me, there is a ziji – a radiant inner confidence – that comes from knowing I have my own back. While we can make requests for others to help us, we don’t need to wait for that to feel loved and cared for.
What would giving yourself what you need look like for you, rebel one?
You will learn:
// Why we feel our needs should be met by our partners/friends/family… and why that may be a bad idea
// How we can create a reality where those needs are met by ourselves – and feel amazing about it (instead of resentful)
// Key steps we can take in learning to reparent ourselves
// Areas we may lack emotional or social skills due to the way we were taken care of – or not – as children
// Checkout my linktree for free trainings about some skills that may not have been modeled or taught to us
// Episode 62: Commitment and How to Take Massive Action
// Want to dive into this work on a deeper level on your own time? To study it and practice it together with a group of people with the same goals of freedom, adventure and purpose? Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out.
// Want to take things to the next level in a 6-month immersion program? Apply at AdventureMastermind.com Enter into the adventure of your life in a container where you’ll feel safe enough to explore your true self with altered states and adventures during this one precious life we have. The early bird bonuses end in less than a week, so apply now!
// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist FB group, and tune in weekly when I go live on new topics.