Growing Up is hard. Being a parent is hard. Mistakes are inevitable. Glitches in the system happen. Growing beyond them is a choice we can make when we’ve slowed down adequately to identify what is going on in our psyche instead of trying to avoid it through busy-ness.
Michael Brown, in his book “The Presence Process” talks about these moments in time when we didn’t have the resources to process whatever was happening as energy packets stored inside of us. We built a shell around the feeling and put it on an internal shelf to come out when we had the presence of mind to address our old hurts and allow them, when they are ready (no rush, Mr. Brown is into presence, not transformation) to literally fuel our unfoldment and upliftment. He says it way better than this and I recommend his book highly. If we keep the offending incident encased and inside, it is a burden. When we are present to it without judgement, it releases the energy we need to move forward. Beautiful.
No parent is perfect, and even if one was, we have no idea what incident spins the psyche. Something that wouldn’t have bothered me at all yesterday strikes a chord today and sticks. Who could know this? And with work and the maintenance of a household, someone can’t be completely present to a kid all day every day. I believe that’s a good thing. This process doesn’t blame inadequate parenting even if your situation truly was inadequate. It takes your life up until now as the full set of resources you need when coupled with your present moment awareness to open up to the grand luster of the universe’s absolute devotion to you.
I’ve been doing a bunch of reparenting exercises lately and it’s been quite fun. Diving into sticky memories that carry some sort of disturbance and basically time-traveling and being fully present to that-aged me. I get to give myself some sage advice. I get to appreciate the courage and tenacity of my younger self. I get to take responsibility for myself up and down the timeline all at once, and instead of feeling burdened by it, I feel freed.
Reparenting really is about taking responsibility for yourself, and extending every bit of wisdom and every bit of caring towards yourself. There’s something we don’t do all the time, or at least I rarely did. All self-conversation was either about what I did wrong or even if I did it right, how I could improve it next time. Or being impatient with myself for one reason or another. This idea of approaching myself, now or my memory, with the same care and attention I would treat my most cherished friend or child – oh, it’s just lovely. It’s a pleasant mental exercise at the least. Having done this from time to time over the years, though, and having what used to be very triggering topics or situations find their balance, this process may be a contributing factor to the energy shift that makes life a more gentle and exciting place to be.