Something worth remembering while pondering the question of how much we care about what our parents think about us is.……They are merely human beings with human beliefs, human failings and resistance just as all human beings have, although to differing degrees depending on how we’ve lived our lives and the choices we’ve made. In other words how anyone thinks or feels about anything is a reflection of the life they’ve lived and the beliefs they hold, it is not the ultimate truth of how things should be but is purely one’s own perception of how they feel the world should or shouldn’t be. This purely personal perspective comes from deciding what we want to live in our lives but has nothing to do with what someone else may be here to do or what they want to live in their lives. In fact, if you think about it…..It is highly arrogant to believe we know what any other human being has specifically come here to do and then dictate to them in a negative way when we feel they are not meeting what we think they are here for and what they should be doing……..What a joke! Many people find it difficult themselves to know why they are here and what they should be doing let alone knowing what others are exactly here to do and how and when they should be doing this or that.
Many may argue, “I’ve been here longer and I know more about life so they should follow what I say.” And to some extent, I would have to agree, especially when children are very young with little to no life experience behind them. But as they grow and learn it is so important to guide them in a positive way from a good feeling place and for them to start being the driver in their own life rather than the co-pilot that’s being told what to do all the time.
When a child’s life is micromanaged and strongly controlled usually one of two things happen. Either the child rebels with strongly negative behaviours or gives in and lets every facet of their life be controlled. Neither alternative is ideal and can incapacitate someone as they grow if they start to believe they are not good enough or are not capable to do things for themselves. If a child has come to believe such negative things about themselves this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy where they unknowingly create circumstances that give them evidence of the beliefs they hold. This can take a long time to unlearn such distorted beliefs with many living a large portion of their physical life feeling this way until they become aware of who they really are and what they are really capable of.
I’m sure it would be true to say that no parent would knowingly do this to their children and that if this does happen it’s through a lack of both understanding and awareness of what we are really doing and how this life is really working.
Getting back to how our parents feel about us, if emotions of love, respect, honesty and acceptance are felt from our parents obviously this is wonderful, but on the flip side of this, if we are met with feelings of hostility, resentment, annoyance, disapproval and coldness, this is not so good. This is a type of very conditional love. A love that says I will love you if you will do this or that, otherwise I will not love you. Instead, I will resent you and I will do my best to make you feel bad so you will change your behaviour and then I can look at you and feel happy. This has everything to do with being selfish and nothing to do with unconditional love. True happiness never comes from trying to control another’s actions but through guiding in a positive manner by controlling our mind and making a constant and consistent effort to find good feeling emotions no matter what outer circumstances we may be presented with. If we are unable to give this unconditional love to our children it will be likely that we will not be able to give unconditional love to anyone including ourselves.
If we feel a lack of approval from our parents because of the choices we’ve made in our lives that for whatever reason they don’t agree with, it is completely our choice to how we choose to feel about this. We can either feel bad and blame either ourselves or our parents for not behaving in a better way, or we can acknowledge that we are an individual with our own lives to live and be happy we have been true to who we are by doing what we believed was in our best interest at any given time.
Isn’t that what everyone is doing. I know we consider those we care about when making decisions, but essentially our decisions come from our own personal perspective, not another’s. It is important to be strong and not allow our parents or anyone else’s negative feelings about us to send us crashing off into the ditch of, “I’m not good enough or poor me.” Such beliefs unconsciously filter into every part of our lives reaping unwanted results that can be difficult to trace back to a belief we may be unaware we have. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t consider changing something if we feel this is appropriate and is a good direction to take, but changing to gain approval from anyone else is not a very good idea for now we are being guided by someone externally to ourselves that can never truly know what is in our heart and the direction that is best for us to go in. This guidance comes from within each of us and is directed by the life we’ve lived so far and what we are wanting so is specific to each individual person and cannot be truly known by someone outside of us.
So let’s guide our children in the best way we know how from the best possible feeling place we can find. Strive to unconditionally love and guide them no matter how they behave. Support them and let them learn the power that they have to create their own life, to make good decisions, to know how to be happy, and to believe in who and what they are.
Teach them that you only want the best for them, that you understand it is their life, not your life they are living, and most importantly teach them that what you or anyone else thinks about them doesn’t truly matter……All that matters is how they think and feel about themselves.
That’s when we have taught them truth and strength, and from this place of empowerment and knowing, there is nothing they cannot achieve……
And so it is……