What have I brought with me from my childhood?

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How we are in our relationships now, relates largely to our family experiences as a child.

Most of us were loved less than perfectly as a child because our parents didn’t know any better, but were, for the most part, doing the best they knew how.

As a result, though, we haven’t learnt how to truly love, value and honor ourselves in many ways.

As a child

When we were little, we depended on our parents to make life safe for us. When they failed to do so in any way, we unconsciously felt that we weren’t worthy of their love: that we were unlovable in some way, that it must be our fault.

So, over our lives, each one of us has a Life Theme, a significant psychological issue which we are working out in this life.

Your theme is created when a powerful emotional chord is struck in your childhood, and then reinforced every time similar events happen later, that carry the same emotional charge, over and over again in your life.

No matter what your Life Theme is, it will profoundly affect how you feel about yourself, your sense of your own value and your capacity to love, both yourself and others.

The 6 broad categories of Life Themes:

  1. Neglect
  2. Abandonment
  3. Abuse
  4. Rejection
  5. Deprivation
  6. Emotional Suffocation

In childhood, this was the reason you believed you didn’t deserve to be loved, and as an adult, it has become the basis for your inability to love yourself, and therefore those around you, in a healthy way.

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So, over your life, you attract into your life, people who help you play out this theme, therefore confirming the theme by doing to yourself over and over again, exactly the thing that was done to you as a child.

To truly get to the bottom of why you keep repeating the same relationship patterns, you need to explore the following questions:

  • What is your Life Theme?
  • When did I experience it as a child?
  • When did I recreate it again in other relationships?
  • What are my unconscious expectations or thoughts?

Further to this, you then start adjusting your behaviours in response to that theme.

Our responses to our Life Themes

There are two ways that you can do that and many of us use both of these in different ways:

1. Overcompensation / over-functioning / grandiose/ superior behaviour

2. Giving up on yourself / under-functioning / feeling a victim / feeling worthless

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Here again, it is very helpful to look at where in both your life and your relationship, you are behaving in these ways:

  • Where am I overcompensating in my life and my relationship?
  • Where am I under-functioning because I don’t feel worthy?

You may need some professional help with discovering all the ways that you have been doing this. Often we can’t see all our patterns by ourselves.

Having done this, the next step is to look directly at how these are specifically affecting how we engage in our relationships.

If you would like help in this process, we have Psychologists in Sydney, and all capital cities and large regional cities across Australia. Please give us a call or you can find the Psychologist who is right for you from searching on the right hand bar. We would love to help you, as relationships are our passion.

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