When I look at Sohum (my 3 month old son) there is nothing in the world that I want more than for him to live a life filled with love and freedom (even free from me).
I love that line in the movie The Pursuit of Happiness where Will Smith says to his son, “Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me.”
And yet the reality is there will be something I do as a Mother that will have him feel abandoned, not fully seen, or not accepted in some way. Of course it’s not my intention for him to feel any of these things, but inevitably he will take on certain beliefs and translations, unbeknownst to me, through observing me or through how I express my love to him.
Through my work for almost a decade in supporting thousands of people around how they were impacted by their childhood, and specifically by their parents (or those that raised them), it’s clear to me there’s no way to know how your child translates what they’re observing in the way you show up with them and others.
That’s why the most influential way to serve our children is to evolve ourselves, because they are watching every move we make.
So, all of this leads me to saying that even if you have a great relationship with your parents, one where you feel close to them and where you can tell them anything, there is still pain. Those painful moments with them as a child created various beliefs that need to be felt, healed, and moved through.
My relationship with my parents is close. In fact I grew up with my Dad saying, “You can come to us with anything. Don’t ever be afraid.”
My parents never wanted me to feel unloved by them, and yet I felt a lot of pain. I felt pain when my parents would argue. I felt pain when my Mom wasn’t present with me. I felt pain when my Dad pushed me to do better in school. I felt pain when my Mom felt pain, like I had to support her.
Most of us do, but we’ve either chosen to suppress it so we aren’t even conscious of the pain we felt, or we are hyper aware of how hard certain moments can feel with them but don’t know what to do about it.
Can you pinpoint moments of pain for yourself?
On the opposite spectrum, the ways we admire them also affects our lives; it’s not just the pain. If you feel your Mom is an amazing Mother, if you feel your Dad was fearless, or that they both were really smart or successful, these opinions and ways we observed them are also impacting us.
They impact us by the way we measure ourselves. If we believe our Mom is extremely intelligent, we may never give ourselves credit for how smart we are because we are measuring ourselves to her subconsciously.
Can you pinpoint how you admire them and how that’s affecting you?
It’s so important to clear this up with them.
Both the pain and how you admire them.
Because these feelings have created voices. Voices within us that represent Mom and Dad, and you will even hear them within you at times. These voices often keep us from hearing our own voice, or inner knowing.
So, even if you’re close and even if your parents have been great parents, there are still things to clear up. It’s the most influential relationship in our lives, and when we become conscious and release how we’ve conditioned ourselves from our childhood, then we get to follow our dreams (not the ones that most of us are trying to follow in order to make our parents proud or to resist them).