From childhood we’ve all sensed imbalances of power. In most relationships, though often unspoken, we feel we are being continually measured, pegged at different levels. We all know who’s stronger than us – whether verbally, emotionally or physically – and we know who can punish or frighten us. We sense where we are placed in our social circles, whether at the centre as the ‘queen bee’, or further out towards the fringe.
Each of our early experiences are peopled with memories which touched us, both the good and the painful. The patterns we each developed to flourish and to survive then are the same as those we still use today. That particular person or event from our past is long gone, but our learnt patterns of relating remain. We continue to see ourselves and others (even God) through this lens.
Continue reading Childhood Hurts – Blockage Or Bridge?
A reflection on our upbringing and God’s invitation to exuberant life
Our attraction to each other is fundamental to our common humanity. We are born with a natural curiosity. Our urge to explore helps us to keep deepening our knowledge of the other. This desire to discover is so important for our sexuality, which, when appropriate, gives us a deep sense of connection. Continue reading To Please or Not to Please, That is the Question
The risk and necessity of self-love
Most of us were formed by people who programmed us to fit into society. It left us with feelings of ambivalence about who were, with feelings of inadequacy, instead of unconditional self-acceptance. We found ourselves wondering how to conform and how we could please others. Continue reading Pulling Out Our ‘Pegs’
Understanding our mom’s past brings clarity and compassion to our own story
In order for each of us to become our own person we need to leave our mother’s force field. Co-dependence with her is easy and good as a starting point, but it’s not a good ending point.
To help young men and women with this journey to self-hood, many cultures have rituals which are significant both for the mother and her child. For us in the West, often all we get when we turn 21 is a key that doesn’t fit anywhere or open anything. For us it’s an ongoing process of learning to trust our way of seeing instead of always deferring to our mother’s opinion. This isn’t an easy shift as, for many of our growing years, her well-intentioned choices decided how we should behave in ways she felt were socially appropriate. We often conformed without question simply for fear of rejection or being ostracized. Continue reading Our Mother’s Moulding
Our mother’s role in learning to trust ourselves
Our ability to relate is a learnt skill and all our lives we continue this journey of learning to relate. Our mother’s womb was a special place, a perfect environment where all our physical needs were met. Though we were tiny we read her emotional force field very well. When we registered negative emotions we developed patterns about our own ability to trust ourselves and the world around us.
Continue reading Finding Healing for What We have Received
Looking at the patterns of identity we’ve learned from our father
Most often, when we define ourselves, we think of our material successes as if our inherent worth is measured by the amount of money we have. If we find our identity in many external things – what we own, what people think of us, who we aspire to be like – then our true identity is stolen from us. Continue reading Do We Really Want to Change?
Learning to value ourselves for who we really are, not by what we achieve
Most of our lives we’ve been formed around learning not to trust ourselves. “Not your way…This is the way,” is what we have been told. We may have been compliant as children and obeyed, or reactive, doing the opposite. But with both ways we were still reacting to the same external reference point.
It’s a risky business becoming more authentic, letting go of things that no longer fit us and following the things that give us life. Continue reading True to Our Self?
The way we spend money says a lot about us
A lot of the ways we see ourselves was taught us by our family. It’s like we’re plants that have been given our shape by a well-intentioned gardener and now, as adults, we need to come into our God-intentioned shape.
If we think back, we can see how our attitude to money was shaped. Do we still see those dynamics in the ways we spend and save now? Do we value ourselves more or less according to what we have? Continue reading The more we dig, the more we find!
The patterns and roles we learnt from our upbringing have shaped each of us. These memories will hold us captive unless we make time to look at them.
These inner dynamics seem so ‘normal’ that we hardly realise they are there. We polish up our outer world to look good because we don’t know what to do with how we really think and feel on the inside. Continue reading Family Patterns