Note: I used “parents” in the headline of this post for the sake of space. Parents in no way mean just mother and father. The point is to examine the behaviors of whomever was your primary caregiver(s) and from that how you created how they occurred to you.
Grab a pen and paper if you’d like or just ask yourself over and over.
How does mother “occur” to me?
How does father “occur” to me?
How does (name of caregiver) “occur” to me?
Answers you might get are:
- More powerful than me
- God-like, my Highest Power
- Controlling, Dominating
- The source of my life
- Better than me
- Smarter than me
- Completely devoid of human emotion
The list can go on and on. Once you have a plump list, with specific emphasis on the negative aspects we can now start to put a clear distinction between the person and how they acted and how what they did occurred to you.
Here is a list of things that, if I were to go back in a time machine and examine the behaviors of your parents, I could see and hear:
- First off, I could see them. There is someone there. Skin, hair, teeth, face and so on.
- Facial positions we label “frowns”, “angry face”
- Vocal sounds labelled as “yelling” and “cursing”
- Physical contact with you labelled as “abuse” and “violence”
- Actions labelled as lies, manipulations, seducing, gas-lighting, blame shifting, catastrophizing, and so on.
This is just a short list, and I only emphasized the negative stuff as a good starting point. What’s important to get is that if I could go back in time I could see and hear a collection of behaviors and a body doing those behaviors.
What I could not see is the occurring, “My parents are controlling and dominating”. It’s because I cannot see the words controlling and dominating. These words are affixed to behaviors not from the behaviors themselves.
I want to put out some caution, if you are living with an abuser or you still have contact with abusive parents, they might use the technique I’m describing as a way to avoid yet again taking accountability for their terrible actions.
A common example would be, “See? Don’t you get that what I was doing was meaningless? You are the one affixing meaning to what I’m doing!” Once again, you are to blame, you are crazy, you need help, and so on. Unfortunately, there are people on this planet who will use anything to avoid accepting responsibility. Ever been told that you attracted your abuse when you were a kid?
The purpose of this exercise is your freedom. So if you have parents who are abusive the next “occurring” work you could do is:
How do I “occur” to me with regards to my abusive parents?
You might get answers such as:
- Unable to get away
- Beholden to them
- Required to worship them
- Unworthy of their love
- Can’t survive without them
- Dead if I don’t follow their instructions exactly
And so on. Fortunately, I’m going to teach you how to dissolve both how your parents occur to you and how you occur to you in relationship to your parents.
So, what do we know as some facts about you?
You are breathing, have a heartbeat, can read, make thoughts, believe stuff, walk, jump, communicate, etc.
An easy way to think of you is there is a body that has done a lot of stuff up to this point. We can say the same thing about your parents, bodies doing stuff.
So now take these facts, that there has been a “you” that has been doing a lot of stuff. And take an occurring you might have such as, “Not worthy of mother’s love” and create a clear distinction between the two, do you notice that you feel better? Or more accurately, a negative feeling you might have had has dissolved?
How DO you draw not worthy of love during a pictionary game?
Also, put a clear distinction between your parents (a body and collection of actions) and an occurring you might have about them like, “my ultimate authority” and notice if any feelings you may have had for most of your life dissolve completely.
Just see them as bodies doing (crappy) actions. Get to that place in your thinking.
Can you really see in any of their actions or neglects the “occurring”: my ultimate authority? If you can, keep making a clear distinction. If it helps give their actions some competing distinctions such as, when mom yelled at me, the occurring, “Mother is my ultimate authority” was reality for 47% of the time on Tuesdays on months with only 30 days.
Keep making them bodies doing and make a clear distinction between measurable actions and how those actions occurred to you.
If you need help, run this through the “pictionary test”. Imagine game night and you are at the house of your coolest friends, and it’s your turn to draw and you get the phrase, “My ultimate authority”. Try drawing that!
I think you get my point, it cannot be seen in reality. A human body and human behaviors (frowns, yelling, threats, etc.) can.
Keep searching and find what behaviors or the threat thereof did you link to the occurring, “My parents have ultimate authority over me”?
Was it physical violence, starvation, silent treatment, isolation punishment? I would have been able to see all of this if I took a time machine back to your early childhood, but now we can make a clear distinction between those measurable actions and how we occur to ourselves, how life occurs to us and how our parents occur to us. The occurring will dissolve.
Now do that with the occurring, “I don’t have any choice in my life”. Make a clear distinction between the behaviors that did happen over and over and the occurring you made up about them to make sense of reality at the time.
Feel “inside” of you, make a clear distinction between what is really inside of you: guts, poop, heart, lungs, liver and your constructed “internal reality”. Or how you occur to you inside, “Bad, disgusting, etc.” Make a clear distinction between your esophagus and your “internal occurring” and notice how bad feelings instantly dissolve! In other words, there is no “shitty you” inside of you. You just occur to you that way.
Feel free to keep creating a clear distinction between mother and “occurring mother” and father and “occurring father”. See what comes up and let me know if you want.
Final note: Some stuff that I am describing might need the Lefkoe Belief Process in or to experience lasting freedom. A belief like, “Mother/Father controls me and my life” would need to be eliminated using that process.
Final Final note: If you are in an abusive relationship, get out now! There are resources out there for you. Run a search for your specific issue and get the support you need. This is an emergency! Get safe and stay safe!