Unfortunately or fortunately…
Your childhood is the template for how you start out in life. There’s simply no way around it…
BUT! That does not mean you have to stay stuck in the messages you received in childhood!
What was your childhood like? Did you generally feel seen, heard, understood, cared for, and loved? Did your parents’ faces light up when you walked into the room?
Were they patient with you? Did they take the time to hear you out and then calmly explain things when you were frustrated?
Did your parents give you the room to feel and express your emotions? Or were feelings “bad” and not welcome in your home? Maybe you learned there were “good” feelings and “bad” feelings, to your detriment today (this could be a whole other topic!).
As kids, our parents were our mirrors, reflecting back to us messages about us.
It is healthy, normal child development to be “ego-centric.” No, not in a “Look at me! Look at me!” kind of way, more of in a “Daddy yelled at me today, I must have done something wrong” kind of way…
As kids, we subconsciously think that everything that happens to us is because of us. We have a hard time seeing things from other peoples’ perspectives and young children rarely think “Daddy must have had a hard time at work today and is feeling helpless and overwhelmed and just doesn’t know how to express that in a healthy way.” Hah!!
So what does this mean for you? If you are someone who had a not-so-great childhood, realize that your childhood truly was the template for: how you see yourself, how you see others, how your brain thinks, what value you put on relationships, if you learned that people are “safe” and can be trusted (or not), how to handle stress based on the examples your parents’ showed you, what kinds of treatment you will and won’t accept, if you’re worthy of having your feelings and opinions heard and valued, if you deserve a loving, caring partner, and so on and so forth!!!
Virtually every subconscious thought and feeling you have today started during your earliest days, even before you could walk and talk. All this because your parents were your mirrors to you about you.
A quote I saw today on Pinterest said:
“Children become what they are told they are.”
A parent looks at you and says something about you, reflecting what they see through their own perspective. But what if their perspective was wrong?
If they abused you or didn’t reflect back great things to you as a kid, realize it is due to something within them, not in something bad about you. Usually, we dislike the most in other people what we’ve disowned in ourselves. Maybe you just reminded your parents of the things they didn’t like about themselves! Completely not about you at all.
It is our job, in adulthood, to be more aware of this phenomenon and take a step back and ask ourselves, “Am I really those things they said about me? Do I really not deserve the things I think I don’t? Am I really not good enough?”
If you genuinely think you’re bad, don’t deserve good things, or aren’t good enough, and you want to change that, I strongly encourage you to seek therapy or other personal development avenues. You CAN heal from that and you don’t have to keep living that way. Because that’s no way to live!
All it takes is you realizing your brain was hijacked as a child and planted with the (sometimes very toxic) seeds of how other people “saw” you through their lens. It is not a true reflection of you as a person. Their opinion of you is not the end-all, be-all by any means! It is just the template you were given! It’s up to you to change it, because if you can choose a happier, healthier life, why wouldn’t you?
So how does this tie into assertiveness?
Because we accept the love we think we deserve.
*I encourage you to journal on this topic this week and see what words get down on the page. You may be surprised what comes out and what emotions come to the surface. Keep up the good work!