How we were treated by others, such as our mothers and fathers, in our past, plays a huge role in how we now treat both ourselves and others. Without having experienced and internalised love and acceptance, it can be very difficult to give to others the love they want as well as to give to ourselves the love we need.
"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection"
If we felt unloved and criticised by a parent when we were growing up for being ourselves, then it is likely we have internalised the harsh, unloving critic of this parent and are highly critical and unloving to ourselves. If a parent was absent, or emotionally unavailable and not able to show us the affection and love we needed as a child, we may subconsciously believe we are not worthy of the love we want from another today. Often we can shape shift to please others in efforts to receive the positive attention, affection and love we missed as a child.
As a child we do not have the intellectual capacity to objectively view our parents’ behaviour in order to understand it, so we are likely to blame ourselves. Establishing a clear awareness of how we experienced our relationships with others in our early years illuminates how our current beliefs about ourselves and others were formed. With this knowledge we can easily pinpoint those beliefs creating the emotional difficulties now in our relationship with others, and in loving and accepting ourselves fully. Counselling is an immensely helpful tool in supporting us to explore past childhood experiences, and gain insight into the reoccurring themes, patterns and beliefs being played out in our lives today. It is important to recognise that we all have the power to change our beliefs. Through awareness and insight, we can begin to choose different thoughts that feed into those beliefs which support us in reaching self-love and acceptance.