We often hear ”don’t make the same mistake twice” “How can you be so stupid?” “Nobody can love a person like you”. These and other horrific messages may haunt children into adulthood. We fear rejection so we don’t reach out to others. We fear criticism so we don’t let others know us. Fear prevents us from taking the risks that are a part of loving relationships. But there is a pattern, rooted deeply in our childhood and our past affects our present. Sometimes however, hurts stick to us.
COMPULSION TO RECREATE AND OVERCOME CHILDHOOD HURTS
By Eva Broch Pierrakos
For a deeper experience of these teachings, consult the Lecture itself, available free of charge at: http://www.pathwork.org/lectures/P073.PDF
Since the child so seldom receives sufficient mature love and warmth, he continues to hunger for it throughout life unless this lack and hurt is recognized and properly dealt with. If not, the person will go through life unconsciously crying out for that which he missed in childhood. This will cause an inability to love maturely. So you can see how this factor spreads from generation to generation.
The remedy cannot be sought by wishing it were different and that people would learn to practice mature love. The remedy lies solely in you. True, if you had received this love from your parents, you would be without this unconscious problem -- a problem of which you are not really and fully aware.
This factor is greatly overlooked by all humanity and even by the few who have started to explore their own unconscious mind and emotions. Very few people realize and personally experience (theoretical knowledge notwithstanding) the strong link between the child's longing and unfulfillment and their present difficulties and problems
There may be isolated, exceptional cases where one parent has a sufficient degree of mature love.
More often, however, both parents are emotionally immature and cannot give the love the child craves for - or only in insufficient measure. During childhood, this need is rarely conscious.
The child has no way of putting his need into thoughts. He cannot compare. He does not know that something else might exist. He believes this is the way it should be. Or in extreme cases, he feels especially isolated, believing his is the only lot. Both attitudes are not according to truth. Thus the child grows up never quite realizing or understanding why he is unhappy nor even that he is unhappy.
Many of you look back on childhood convinced that you had all the love you wanted just because you actually did have some love, but rarely all that you wanted.
There are a number of parents who give great demonstrations of love. They may spoil or pamper their children. This very act of spoiling and pampering may be an overcompensation and sort of an "apology" for a deeply suspected inability to love maturely. The child feels the truth very acutely. Proper guidance and security are a parent's responsibility and calls for authority on his part .
There is the parent who never dares to punish or exert such a healthy authority. This is due to guilt that real giving, warming, comforting love is absent in his own immature personality. Another parent may be too severe, too strict. He thereby exerts a distortion of authority by bullying and not allowing the individuality of the child to unfold.
Both fall short as parents, and their wrong attitudes will be absorbed by the child and will result in hurt and unfulfillment.
In the case of the strict parent, the resentment and rebellion will be open and therefore more easily traced. In the other case, the rebellion is just as strong but hidden and therefore infinitely harder to trace. If you have a parent who smothered you with affection, or pseudoaffection, yet lacked in genuine warmth; or if you have a parent who conscientiously did everything right by you, but also was lacking in real warmth, unconsciously you knew it when you were a child and you resented it. Consciously, you may not be aware of it at all because when you were a child, you really could not put your finger on the lack. You were outwardly given everything you wanted and needed. How could you differentiate in your intellect the subtle, fine borderline distinction between real affection and pseudoaffection? The fact that something bothered you without your being able to explain it reasonably made you feel guilty and uncomfortable. You therefore pushed it out of sight as much as ever possible.
As long as this hurt, disappointment, and unfulfilled need from your early years is unconscious, you cannot come to terms with it. No matter how much you may love your parent, unconscious resentment exists, and you therefore cannot forgive for the hurt. You can only forgive and let go if you recognize this deeply hidden hurt and resentment.
As an adult human being, you will see that your parents too are just human beings. They will not be as faultless and perfect as the child thought and hoped. As long as you are unaware of this conflict, of your longing for perfect love from your parents, you are bound to try remedying the situation in your later years .
This may manifest in various aspects of your life. You run into problems and repeated patterns which have their origin in your attempt to reproduce the childhood situation so as to correct it. This unconscious compulsion is a very strong factor, but is so deeply hidden from your conscious understanding!
The most frequent way of attempting to remedy the situation is in your choice of love partners. Unconsciously, you will know how to choose in the partner aspects of the parent who has particularly fallen short in affection and love that is real and genuine. But you also seek in your partner aspects of the other parent who has come closer to gratify your demands. Important as it is to find both parents represented in your partners, it is even more important and more difficult to find those aspects which represent the parent who has particularly disappointed and hurt you, the one more resented or despised, and for whom you had little or no love.
You seek the parents again -- in a subtle way that is not always easy to detect by outer similarities -- in your marital partners, in your friendships, or in other human relationships. In your subconscious, the following reactions take place. Since the child in you cannot let go of the past, cannot come to terms with it, cannot forgive, cannot understand and accept, this very child in you always creates a somewhat similar condition, thereby trying to win out in the end, trying to finally master the situation instead of succumbing, as it seems to the child in you.
Loosing out means being crushed, and this must be avoided at all costs. The costs are high indeed, for the entire process is unfeasible. It cannot ever come to realization what the child in you sets out to accomplish. This entire procedure is utterly destructive.
In the first place, it is an illusion that you were defeated. Therefore it is an illusion that you can be victorious. Moreover, it is an illusion that, sad as the lack of love may have been when you were a child, it represents the tragedy that your subconscious still feels it to be. The only tragedy lies in the fact that you obstruct your future happiness by continuing to reproduce and then to attempt to master the situation.
In trying to reproduce the childhood situation, you unconsciously choose a partner with aspects similar to those of the parent. And these very aspects will make it as impossible to receive the mature love you rightfully long for now, as it was then. Blindly you believe that by willing it more strongly and more forcefully, the parent -partner will now yield, whereas, in reality, love cannot come that way.
Free of this ever continuing repetition, you will no longer cry to be loved by the parent. Instead, you will look for a partner (or for other human relationships) with the aim of finding the maturity you really need and want. In not demanding to be loved as a child, you will be equally willing to love. However, the child in you finds this impossible of course, no matter how much you may otherwise be capable of it due to development and progress. But this hidden conflict eclipses your otherwise growing soul.
If you already have a partner, the uncovering of this conflict may show you his similarities and immaturities. But since you know that there is hardly a really mature person, these existining immaturities will no longer be the tragedy they were while you constantly sought to find your parent or parents again, which of course could never come to pass. With your existing immaturities and inabilities, you may nevertheless build a more mature relationship, free of the childish compulsion now under discussion. You have no idea how preoccupied your subconscious is with the process of reenacting the play, so to speak, only hoping that "now it will be different." And it never is! As time goes on, each disappointment weighs heavier, and your soul becomes more discouraged.
There are also those who tolerate the pain, but in a negative way, always expecting it to be remedied from the outside. In a way, such people are nearer to the solution because for them it will be quite easy to see how the c hildish process still operates. "The outside" is the offending parent, or both parents, projected onto other human beings. They have only to redirect the approach to their pains. They do not have to find it.
Only after experiencing all these emotions and synchronizing the "now" and the "then" will you become aware of how you tried to correct the situation. You will see further the folly of this unconscious desire, the frustrating uselessness of it. You will survey all your actions and reactions with this new understanding and insight -- whereupon, you will release your parents, you will leave your childhood truly behind and start a new inner behavior pattern that will be infinitely more constructive and rewarding for yourself and for others. You will no longer seek to master the situation that you could not master as a child. You will go on from where you are, forgetting and forgiving, truly inside of you, without thinking that you have done so. You will no longer need to be loved as you needed to be loved when you were a child. First, you become aware that this is what you still wish, and then you no longer seek this type of love. Since you are no longer a child, you will seek love in a different way, by giving it, instead of by expecting it. But it must always be emphasized that many people are not aware that they do expect it. Since the childish, unconscious expectation was so often disappointing, they made themselves give up all expectations and all desires for love. Needless to say, this is neither genuine nor healthy, for it is a wrong extreme.
o be fruitful and bring real results, it must go beyond mere intellectual knowledge. You have to allow yourself to feel the pain of certain unfulfillments now and also the pain of the unfulfillmet of your childhood. Then compare the two until, like two separate picture slides, they gradually move into focus and become one. Once this happens, the insight that you gain, the experience that you feel exactly as I say here, will enable you to take the further steps indicated.