The most interesting thing about self-parenting (or re-parenting) to me is that the entire Bible is about it. Jesus kept telling us that it didn’t matter how much our earthly parents let us down, because we had a Father in heaven who loved us no matter what.
Jesus. bless his heart, was trying to tell us that we are worthy because we are the same energy as the Source from which we came, and therefore we don’t need our biological mother or father to think we’re worthy in order to be worthy. We don’t need their pride because they are fallible humans, we simply need to realign to Source (love, soul, spirit, Higher Self) and remember that who we truly are is more than just the child of our parents.
He was trying to help the adults around him heal and move past their wounded egos and unmet childhood needs so they could shift into their Adult Self and feel happy. Jesus was one of the original self-parenting thought leaders!
Why did Jesus do this? Think about it: Jesus was born to a teenage, unwed mother. Whether you want to call it immaculate conception or rape by one of Joseph’s older sons (cough-this one-cough), it was NOT COOL back when Jesus was alive. He was being raised by a 14-year-old-ish Mary–still a child–and being made fun of and shamed constantly by the community for being a bastard. And who knows if the elderly Joseph was a great dad (knowing how most men feel about cuckolding, probably not). No one thought he was the Son of God when he was a kid. Jesus’ childhood likely sucked. And we know he didn’t have a good relationship with his mom or brothers because he says as much in the Bible. (A great book about this is The Gospel According to Jesus by Stephen Mitchell.)
Matthew 12:47 Someone told Him, “Look, Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You.” 48 But Jesus replied, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?”49 Pointing to His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers.…
But Jesus is not alone. Gabor Maté, Shefali Tsabary, Nicole LePara, and probably thousands of others are trying to spread the message of self-parenting in this broken world run by wounded children.
Why Can’t Our Parents Be Proud of Us?
Your parents aren’t proud for the same reason you desperately want them to be: they are still running off of a Wounded Child Operating System. They are guided by their own unmet needs. Basically, their parents weren’t proud of them either! Unfortunately, this makes it so they still can’t or won’t give you what you need. They can’t see you or your accomplishments, give you true empathy, talk to you without judgment, or make you feel as special as you truly are because they can’t even do this for themselves.
They never got it from their parents, and don’t have the capacity or knowledge to give it to you. Does that make it right? Nah, not really, but that makes it bearable. Forgive your parents for not meeting your needs and try to remember that they were doing the best they could given their own experiences.
So, What Do We Do?
We figure out whatever it is that we need/ed from our parents and give it to ourselves right now. We Self-Parent. In my marriage coaching program, I call it bringing in your Fairy Godmother, because sometimes it’s easier to imagine a “perfect” parent when we ourselves don’t feel like one, or never had that loving model of one. Your Fairy Godmother loves you exactly the way you are.
How to Self-Parent:
- Figure out the little you inside that is longing for something from your parent.
- Identify what it is that he/she needs. Is it approval? Validation? Acceptance? Love?
- Imagine little you in front of you. Sometimes it’s easier to imagine your own child in front of you first, and gradually let it change to little you.
- Speak to little you the way you would speak to your own child. Give her all the things you need. Tell her how much you love her. Show her how you accept her, just as she is. Tell her how she’s doing great things and you see her. Be proud of the way she did something really freaking hard and accomplished so much.
- Imagine hugging little you and holding her as long as she needs.
It’s really that easy. And if it sounds woo, well, you should try it. Sometimes it’s easy to do it with your eyes closed and speak out loud, sometimes it’s nice to do it in your journal, writing to your little you. Whatever you do, don’t poo-poo this incredibly important healing practice. No other adult can give you what you need, but you can go back in time and give it to yourself!
And it will make you a better parent to your own children, a better spouse, a better everything. You actually have a responsibility to do this work so that you can give the world the adult version of you. And that’s when your life will really start taking off.
Click here to read more about having a conscious marriage by using your relationship conflicts to learn more about yourself. And join me in the Happily Ever After Marriage Coaching Program today!