Discover How and Why Reparenting will Transform your MF LifeMar 15, 2022
Our childhood is where the unconscious mind is formed.
It’s where we learn how we process and regulate emotions, what relationships look like, how to maintain boundaries, and countless other habits and behaviours that teach us how to care, love and appreciate our true selves.
Ideally, our parents are two self-actualized people who allow their children to be seen, heard and understood as the unique individual they are. The reality is that we live in a culture that does not teach conscious awareness, so most of us are born to unconscious parents. This is changing as the world goes through a collective awakening (through the fuckery known as a pandemic and a potential world war) and as parents are much more informed (sometimes to a fault) about intuitive and connected parenting.
Your parents did their best and showed their love in the only way they knew how.
As a parent myself I can see how easy it is for loving, well-meaning parents to pass down their ‘stuff’ to their children.
Reparenting is the process of relearning how to meet the needs of your inner child. It’s being your own best parent through daily self-care and observation,
developing a practice of giving ourselves what we need and maybe didn't receive enough of in childhood, or we just need more of now.
Unconscious parents are repeating the same habits and patterns they’ve learned. They’re operating from a wounded space because of their own unprocessed emotions of not receiving the modelling or having their needs met in childhood. They may have been emotionally immature, unpredictable, co-dependent, physically or emotionally absent or distracted.
You are NOT doing a disservice to your parents by reparenting yourself now. This is where I see people slip up with this work, they feel guilty that they are betraying their parents. This really is not the case. It was not your parent's “fault.” It means nothing about who they are as people. Or how much they loved you. They were doing the best they could with their level of awareness.
Reparenting yourself empowers you to move forward in life and actually be closer to your own parents as you understand the limitations they experienced. It helps you feel more compassion and understanding towards them and helps you heal and consciously choose different behaviour as an adult.
We can only give others what we are willing to give ourselves.
In my life and work as a life coach and hypnotherapist, I see how this absence of positive modelling of habits and behaviours, emotional absence and unconsciousness manifests.
- It can manifest as perfectionism and overachieving which then manifests as ridiculously high standards for yourself and others, overwhelm and never letting yourself off the hook
- All or nothing approach to tasks and habits in life where you are drinking all the water, going to the gym, eating healthy, going to bed early one week and doing the complete opposite the next.
- It could be a lack of self-trust, self-worth or self-acceptance which then manifests as being highly judgement of yourself and others and living in anxiety and fear.
- It may manifest as a lack of self-regard, putting yourself last and not knowing how to love and care for yourself as a worthy human who desires your own care.
- You may not understand how to set (or keep boundaries)
- You may not place much focus on your physical and spiritual health.
Discovering reparenting was a game-changer for me and it is something I support most of my clients with.
Reparenting is your personal responsibility and it will change your MF life!
BUT it's not a quick fix (nothing is really) It takes time, commitment, and patience. It will require you to show up every day as your own loving, nurturing parent.
The first step is to DEFINE how YOU would have loved to have been parented. So that you are re-parenting from that place What does a loving, present parent really mean for you, now? The truth is, the person you are now can choose how they want to be cared for.
The 4 Pillars of reparenting are
- Loving and Flexible Self Discipline
- Emotional Regulation
Depending on your unique childhood experience, some pillars will be more difficult than others.
For me, LOVING self-discipline was the most difficult part. I either was 100% disciplined in a self-berating/non-flexible way or I did nothing for my mental and emotional wellness (and actively self-sabotaged)
When I did introduce loving and flexible self-discipline, my mind had tantrums. My childhood self rebelled. There was no part of me that wanted to wake up early, go to the gym, or really do anything “planned.” It was a process of grieving for my past self as well as self-compassion to allow me to view discipline in a way that could be approached with flexibility, love and perceiving it as a loving act towards myself.
Another major struggle for me was finding joy. Joy is an emotional experience. It’s the product of spontaneity, play, creativity, and pure presence. It was something I had to lean into with dance, gratitude and presence.
Part of discovering joy is learning what your inner child loves to do, and that means having the courage to TRY things. This is something I help my clients with a lot. Walking beside them while they try new things and challenge ging and supporting them as they move through the metal resistance.
Years into the reparenting process I can say that I am truly a different person.
It’s brought me so much more self-acceptance, love, confidence, compassion and self-trust.
Every day I continue to do this work and I want to share some simple steps on how to begin:
Keep one small promise to yourself every day: This step should be so small that it’s seemingly insignificant. You need to choose something that sets you into a situation where you’ll succeed. For example, my first promise to myself was to dress my bed. That's it! If you don’t go to the gym every day now, do not promise you’ll go to the gym every day.
Some good examples are: meditate for 2 minutes, go for a 5-minute walk around the blog each morning, cook one meal at home every day, write out 5 gratitudes each night before bed. Time is important here: do not choose any promise that takes more than 10 minutes in total.
Tell someone you trust (other than you’re parents) that you’re beginning the process: do not share that you’re doing this with your parents. It’s not necessary and can be hurtful to them. Remember, they did the best they could with their level of awareness and will likely become defensive if you talk about this. Reparenting is for you. When I began the process, I shared it with my coach and we worked to do this together. If you have a partner or a close friend, let them know you’re working on this. Support will be helpful.
Play the long game: It’s easy to become overwhelmed. Reparenting is a process. It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s not something that happens over a couple of months. If you try to do too much of this work at once, you’ll become overwhelmed and fall back into old patterns. Follow the steps, do not try to do too much at once.
Ask yourself regularly: “What do I need right now?” This is a mantra I use often. As children, we weren’t always given what we needed. As adults, we have an opportunity to give what we need to ourselves. When you feel yourself having strong emotions, ask this question.
Sometimes the answer for me is a cry or a nap. Other times it’s to disconnect with social media, or a need to get into the sun for 15 minutes and call a friend. It’s ok if when you begin asking this question you feel confused or like there is no answer. Just continue asking. It’s a practice of connecting with intuition. If you stay committed, you’ll begin to get answers.
If you are ready to start the reparenting process with support and accountability. Send me an email or book a call with me.
This article is adapted from an article provided by the Holistic Psychologist, Dr Nicole Le Pera. I studied Reparenting with Dr Nicole in her Self Healers program.