I want you to know, you matter!
Whether or not your parents or caregivers have shown you love, I know there is a place within you that wants to believe you are lovable, worthy and whole. Repeat after me, ‘I matter’, say it again and again. Let the tears flow if they need to, by doing so you are setting yourself free from the past and beginning anew.
If your parents or caregivers are deceased you may think you do not have an opportunity to change the past. The truth is you change your past by changing your future. When you explore what has shaped you, accept your experiences and then commit to making the rest of your life the best of your life, so much will change. Now is the time to let go of the past, take the lessons you’ve learned and turn them into stepping stones which will lead you to an amazing future.
Every ending is a new beginning, the beginning of you.
Emergence as an adult
Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but...life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves - Gabriel Garcia
Being aware of the differences in your relationship with your mother or caregivers, recognising why the differences have been there and learning how to transform them is the beginning of adulthood. If you’ve found yourself searching for love and meaning, this forthcoming series of blog posts will aid in further healing. However, you must deal with the past in order to create an inspiring future.
Your parents are still a part of you, within you and perhaps beside you on this journey. How you decide to use your past experiences, will either make or break you. It may take strength and courage to emerge from the wounded child into an adult who no longer needs her mother or significant caregivers love. Staying in the mindset of a needy child will limit you in many ways. When you are able to ‘grow yourself back up’ and personally nurture the child within you, you transform not only your past but your future too.
In Chapter Two, of Mothers and Daughters, my second book on relationships, I share details of the ACE study which considered the Risk Factors of Adverse Childhood Experiences. You may wish to take the ACE Test yourself for greater insights.
The study also looks at Family Protective Factors, which I will share here. The protective factors in our lives are what shape us into healthy functioning adults. Our own parents of course may not have had “ideal” circumstances in which to raise us and this list describes the ideal.
Family and Community Protective Factors
These are the ideal factors according to The ACE Study.
Protective factors when present contribute to the health and well-being of children and families. Research has found that focusing on positive factors, is more productive than focusing on risk factors alone. (See appendix for information on the study)
· Supportive family environment and social networks
· Nurturing and attachment
· Parental resilience
· Knowledge of parenting and child development
· Household rules and child monitoring
· Parental employment
· Adequate housing
· Access to health care and social services
· Caring adults outside of the family who can serve as role models or mentors
· Communities that support parents and take responsibility for preventing abuse
Your experience as a child may have contained some - or none - of the above. If you were lacking in any area, it is still possible to “re-parent” yourself as an adult and provide for yourself by meeting your own needs. Having an awareness of these protective factors also offers insights into healthy parenting if you decide to be a parent. These might be aspects of your life and environment to strive towards, bearing in mind that these factors are said to be crucial for both parent and child to fare well.
Here are some examples of celebrities who have prospered, despite not having an ideal childhood. I find their stories about overcoming hardship, insightful and motivational. It goes to prove our potential power to overcome those limiting beliefs learnt in childhood. Oprah Winfrey, Lucille Ball, Jeanne Moreau, Marilyn Monroe and J.K Rowling - to name but a few - of the female daughters who have survived personal struggle and hardship and gone on not only to change their lives, but also to make a difference through their presence in the world. We would all benefit from using these women to inspire us, recognising that despite personal trauma and tough childhoods, it is still possible to rise above those setbacks and enjoy success.
Understanding yourself and fulfilling your own needs
Don’t be afraid. Change is such a beautiful thing, said the butterfly - Sabrina Newby
When we forgive our parents and set ourselves free from the pain of holding onto grudges, hurt and blame, we grow individually and collectively as daughters. Owning and accepting past experiences and unleashing ourselves from the pain our caregivers have caused us (directly or indirectly) will mean we take back our personal power, aiding further separation from our parents whatever our age. We no longer spend our time and energy being a victim of circumstance; we grow beyond the pain of our past and focus on where we are now and what we want for the future.
By getting to know our mothers and what shaped her and the people who took care of you, we begin to understand even more about ourselves and how to meet our own needs independent of her. There is such strength in taking personal responsibility and mothering ourselves truly and completely.
Understand who you are as a person
The greatest barrier to self-understanding is our fear of knowing the truth within ourselves, but when we do understand ourselves, we greatly enhance what we are capable of - Carla H Krueger
Identifying who you are as a person regardless of your mother or caregivers opinion or judgement, will serve you as you develop beyond the status of a daughter.
Children are told things about themselves which are often said thoughtlessly in the heat of the moment. Such comments impact the child’s self-identity. They may go on to form limiting beliefs about themselves which they carry through to adulthood. Exploring the section on limiting beliefs and how to change them (Chapter Six of Mothers and Daughters) will further support you.
You might like to use the following exercise to further explore who you are as an individual in your own right
· Who am I?
· Who am I beyond my name?
· Who am I beyond my role as daughter, sister, mother, aunt etc
· What are my character traits? (i.e. empathic, loyal, patient, understanding, humorous etc)
· What persona do I portray to the outside world: friends, strangers, partners or your mother?
· If I were to be all of who I am, unashamedly, what would I reveal to others which I have up until now, kept hidden?
· By being more of who I am and less of who I’m not, how will this benefit me? (i.e. full self-expression, confidence, self-acceptance , pride in self etc)
· What actions can I take today and every day which allow me to show the world who I am?
When you are being true to yourself, you are able to express all of who you are, holding nothing back. This indicates a deep level of self-acceptance and knowing you have the confidence to be yourself, regardless of other people’s responses or opinions. The forthcoming series of blogposts will guide you in understanding your core values, likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams as well as your emotions. Every day, take an action which will stretch you out of your comfort zone and into the zone of being more true to yourself. The more you do it. The easier it becomes to show up as your amazing self!
If you'd like to work with me in person I have a range of support programmes to suit your needs. Please do make contact to discuss.
I have prepared some free downloads from the book for you to enjoy.
Here's an outline of some of the freebies available to you at www.mothersanddaughters.solutions simply subscribe to receive these lovely bonuses straight to your inbox over the next 60 days
* Free chapter - Welcome to the Journey of You
* EFT Quick Start Guide (Emotional Freedom Technique)
* Mothers and Daughters Q&A
* Love and Relationship Inventory
* Guided Relaxation - Negative Memory Release
* The Spotlight Process
* Power Questions
* Who Am I? Exercise
* 10 Steps to Setting Healthy Personal Boundaries
* A Time for Healing
Despite our entrance into the world, or even because of it, we become the magical people we are. Each and every one of us has a story to tell about birth, life and death. Now is the time to tell and transform our stories - Sharon King, Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life