Posts Tagged ‘family’
In our last meeting, I tossed out the following quote in response to one man’s statements. It seemed to immediately capture everyone’s attention, so here it is again:
Where a man’s wound is, that is where his genius will be.
Mircea Eliade (1907-1986)
All of us carry our own unique wounding, and how we respond to it literally controls our lives.
I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self,
and the wounds to the soul take a long, long time,
only time can help
and patience, and a certain difficult repentance
long, difficult repentance, realization of life’s mistake,
and the freeing oneself
from the endless repetition of the mistake
which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify.
As men, most often this wound comes from our fathers.
Every boy, in his journey to become a man, takes an arrow to the center of his heart, in the place of his strength. Because the wound is rarely discussed and even more rarely healed, every man carries a wound. And the wound is nearly always given by his father.
John Eldredge, Wild at Heart
Or we may shoulder the burden of our parent’s wounding.
Greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of the parent. So each man must examine, without the motive to judge, where his father’s wounds were passed on to him. Either he finds himself repeating his father’s patterns or living in reaction to them – in both cases a prisoner.
James Hollis, Under Saturn’s Shadow: The Wounding and Healing of Men
Addressing our wounding in paramount to our own person growth.
If you want to change the way you are with your sons, and your daughters, then my experience is you need to feel how you were hurt, and how you were wounded.
Marvin Allen, Wild Man Weekend documentary
In this meeting we will speak to each other about our personal wounding – what we know about it, how we have (or haven’t) dealt with it. How our current status with our wounding affects our lives today and the lives of those we love.
Our topic will be
– verb (used with object) 1. to hold in low regard; think unfavorably of.
– noun 2. lack of esteem; disfavor; low regard.
Origin: 1585–95; dis + esteem
I came across this term in Guilt, Anger & God: The Patterns of Our Discontents, C. FitzSimons Allison, 2003:
Another characteristic of the civilized person is disesteem, the lack of self-esteem, or even self-hatred. Civilization must not only restrain, it must give ideals . . . and the higher the ideals, the greater the judgment. . . Under such arduous demands, I look in the mirror and do not like what I see . . . Disesteem is the easiest of all personal factors to underestimate, and there is no one who does not suffer in some acute way from its pervasive ache.
Many point to childhood experiences, which is were we first learn our civilization culture, as the potential building blocks of low self-esteem. Were you validated as a child? Were there expectations you felt were unreasonable or impossible to reach? Was there a lack of discipline in your household? Were you compared unfavorably to others? How were your mistakes or failures handled by your parents? Your achievements? What feelings did any/all of these situations create in you?
Parents/elders are just people, just like us, with strengths and weaknesses – anyone raising children of their own learn this lesson. But children can place their caregivers on tall pedestals. To obtain ‘love’ from a parent, some of us learn some rather peculiar behavior and thinking. Even after a parent is gone or out of our lives, we internalize the ‘lessons learned’ and they inform our behavior today. Often this is buried very deeply in our unconscious and hard to access.
To explore your personal self-esteem issues:
- Identify the critical voice within you? What is its repeated message to you?
- How do you feel in response to this voice? What reactions does it trigger in you?
- From whom does this voice come? Who does it represent to you?
- What does it mean to keep this criticism inside of you? (e.g. does this possibly represent an emotional connection with your antagonist?)
- Do you see a ‘closed loop’ created in this type of thinking, fulfilling the very thing addressed by the critical voice?
- Can you differentiate the critical voice from yourself? Would it be possible to have a conversation with the voice to understand it better?
- You developed your critical voice for a reason – to help you survive in the world. What is it trying to protect you from?
- The disesteem within you is not your enemy, but your protector. Unless it is satisfied that you are safe, it will exert a forceful control over your decisions. How can you reassure it that you are safe as you enter areas IT feels are too dangerous to explore?
I look forward to meeting with you on this topic!
- What has your experience been in keeping and making friends as an adult?
- What does it mean to be a friend? How to do you meet new ones? Why is it harder?
- If all these people you know aren’t friends, then what are they? What is the difference?
- How does introversion and extroversion affect friendships? How does gender? Race?
- How to be successful in making new friends? How to practice at being a better friend?
- What is your relationship with your mother today?
- In what ways has your mother influenced who you pick as a partner?
- What are the things that bother you about your mother?
- What influences in your behavior or beliefs come from your mother?
- What memories are strongest for you about your mother?