Parenting Yourself

I married again when I was 41. Up until then I had never been in love, although I had been previously married and fathered children. In fact I had not been capable of love in the usually described way of really connecting with my partner. But I had been using my dreams to work through my childhood miseries and had begun to undo something that had caused me to cut off all emotional ties with my mother when I was about five. This had caused me to lack any growth in my relationship with a woman. I remained at the age of five emotionally. So, when I did fall in love I did so with the emotional maturity of a five year old.

Fortunately I had some insight into what was happening as I experienced all the drama of feelings a child feels in relationship with its mother. I met intense feelings that drove me to want to be near my loved mother/wife all the time. I would follow her from room to room like a dog for fear of losing her – not only had I cut off from my mother, but she had sowed the seed of terror that she would abandon me. Also for the first time in my life I felt intense jealousy and would turn up unexpectedly at the house to see if my new wife was with another man. The tricks of survival I had learned in childhood also surfaced. The main one was to shut down emotionally and distance myself if there were any threat to the relationship. And so with all of these and other powerful feelings I had to learn to recognise them as childhood feelings that were not good to have in my adult relationship and encourage the growing part of me to move beyond them. Of course that meant moving into and through emotional adolescence. Believe me, none of it was easy on my wife. Our poor partner gets hit by all the miseries of childhood we meet in our growth.

So, I had to learn to parent myself in way that I could raise myself into a non dependent, non-grasping and non-jealous adult. I had a sort of mantra which I held in mind when things got tough – “Love without grasping – Power without breaking or bending other lives – Wisdom through which love can flow.”

To be able to parent oneself you need honesty to see the faults your parents live in, raising you, and also to be capable of seeing your own failures in raising any of your own children. Strange as it may seem, most of us are often terribly judgmental, impatient and angry with ourselves, and so this would be a tragic thing to raise yourself with. Also we are awful at admitting our own faults, all of which make us inadequate parents, and not good at self parenting. The fundamental needs of childhood are almost never met by modern parenting within the environment of today’s commercial and industrial world. See Ages of Love

But through simple self-observation one gradually arrives at a form of insight which leads to a transcending of oneself as you stood prior to the insights. One may even arrive at a massive altered state of awareness – an insight into the impermanence of your present personality, and the experience of liberation arising from it. See Self Observation – Opening to Life

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