Being Perfect Was a Duty, Not an Honor!
August 4, 2013
Have you ever had the feeling that you just couldn’t do anything right—that you just might be somehow too broken to fix?
I had a father who withheld. He withheld compliments. He withheld intimacy. Mostly he withheld money. On payday, when it was clear we needed groceries, because we hadn’t had anything but barley soup for three days, someone would have to “ask” my father for the money to go buy groceries. It wasn’t as if he didn’t have the money. He was out almost every night on the town with his newfound freedom of being single, spending money on alcohol and dates. He had the money. And yet he withheld.
Out of the six children, I was consider the one who was most honored by him—probably because I never got in trouble, played the piano and sang for his company, and got straight A’s. Being perfect was a duty, not an honor. Especially in this instance, when I had to ask Big Daddy for the grocery money.
It happened at lunchtime. He would come home and check on the kids—more like inspect the kids and the home—every afternoon, especially in the summers when all five siblings were home. So, after we would feed him and clean up the dishes, it was time for the dirty deed.
Quivering in my shoes, knees knocking, I spoke with a brittle timbre: “Dad, we really need to get some groceries today.”
“And…” he would say.
“Well, we need the money to go.” Everyone would stand around watching, wondering how he would respond this time.
Yes, it was just like most times. He said, “Son of a bitch. That’s all I do around here is dole out money.” Then he would throw the smallest amount of money that we could possibly survive on, down to the floor.
I would have to be the one to get on my knees and pick it up. A sobering feeling would sweep over me. I would think, I can’t wait to be away from this son of a bitch. I’m going to be as smart as I can be, as talented as I can be. I’ll get out of here and never come back.
My belief about my possible future was how I got the strength to pick up the money. I realized that asking anyone for anything was wrong. If I asked, I’d be ridiculed and ended up on my knees begging and owing something.
My belief in my future wasn’t strong enough yet, because my first long-term relationship mimicked my father’s behavior. He started out plying me with flowers and gifts. But as soon as I asked for anything, I became the evil one. It was as if my wants and my desires had no bearing on the relationship or the household. By the time this happened, I had already moved in with him and had sold my place. I was stuck—again—and angry inside. My goal in that relationship, for most of it, at least—during the times of fighting—was to get financially stable again and move out, just like I did with my father.
The same thing happens with a parent or guardian who is consistently critical. The person who is being criticized often enters into a very controlling aspect of the mind in relationship. He or she wants nothing to do with the person who acts the part of the parent.
If we want to get better, make better choices, understand ourselves in a better way, we have to get to the place of actually seeing ourselves when we begin to act out the old patterns. You can’t change something you don’t recognize.
Beyond seeing yourself “act out,” you must begin to visualize and show self-worth. Ways of doing this are to make a list of your great attributes and post them somewhere you can see them every day. You can treat yourself to something special—a spa day, a long, candlelit bath, or theater tickets.
I believe that the easiest way to believe in yourself is to create this paradigm in your mind: I absolutely believe that I am created in the image of Good! I continue to be that good everyday, being a conduit of spirit flowing through me, as me. If I am made of God, and God dwells in me; then, by virtue of cause and effect, it is impossible for me to be anything less than Good!
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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.
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