January 21st, 2016
My time working as an in-home therapist (2003-2005) was one of the most important learning experiences of my life. I was able to enter the homes of my client’s and observe the family dynamics directly in their native environments. This was good preparation for the outpatient work that was to come, when I wouldn’t have such direct observations. I was able to witness first hand some dramatic differences between client’s subjective perceptions of experiences and and my own objective, or so then I thought, point of view. At the time I was astonished at the blind spots parents had toward their contribution, to problems they were having with their troubled teens. I was just beginning to see how my own childhood conditioning was, unconsciously, affecting all of the relationships in my life. The parents of the families I worked with were mirroring for me, what I was struggling to show them. I wrote this for those parents, but it was true for me too, as a therapist. We have to strive to be the thing we want to see, the rest is… Hypocrisy.
The Grown Up Parent
As a child you came into this world to mirror to your parents all of the things they could not see in themselves. All of you demonstrated what you unknowingly absorbed from the environment around you. Some of you eventually told them what you saw. Some of you even waged a war to make the point. Some of you are still at war. And many of you are at war and do not know it. Your work is to forgive the inadequacies of your parents and to gently put down the mirror. When you no longer look for your parents to give you what they could not give, the mirror will be down. And only then will you be able to see yourself and free yourself from the chain chaotic inheritance that is your family history. As a parent you are responsible for parenting yourself before parenting your children. Your child has come to mirror to you the relationship you have with your own inner parent. For a pleasant reflection seek a conscious and deliberate relationship with this parent. Speak to your parent through self-inquiry. Listen to your parent through the silent instruction of your conscience. As you embrace this relationship all of the people in your life will feel its influence. You will come to embody real authority. Your children will respect you. Your peers will respect you. YOU will respect you and find that you have more of yourself to give everyone in your life. Your children will be nurtured and protected by way of the care you have for yourself.
Through listening to your inner authority you will transcend the confusion of your parent’s parent’s parent’s… You will begin to see that you are an energetic being and that your children are too, absorbing everything around them. You will become aware that there is a constant invisible communication going on between you and your children. You will know that your work as parent is not only to provide physical room and board, but also to BE room and board, and you will be proud.