Happy Family Day Everyone!
… at least everyone here in Alberta and a few other Canadian provinces.
According to timeanddate.com: “This holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities.”
Today, after I get this post out, I will be out skating, playing and having a blast with my family and friends, as I believe in the importance of a healthy family and community life. In my work, I don’t see it as that simple.
You see, my clients are people who come from families, grew up in families, and some now have families of their own; they are good people, even though many of them have ‘secrets’ trapped inside them, ‘secrets’ they may not want you to know or may not know they carry.
It is widely understood in scientific literature that all of us get the vast majority of our functional and emotional “programming” by the time we are six or seven years old. At this age, we have now been the beneficiaries of whatever program and parenting style our parents had prepared for us; or, more often than not, had not prepared for us.
What I mean by this is that parents unfortunately default to the parenting styles inherited from their parents, which, even more unfortunately, is often a parenting style based on minimizing the inconvenience to the parent.
Children are made to behave as the parent wishes, instead of what’s necessarily best for the child. Joseph Chilton Pearce, a child behaviour pioneer, states that there is no reason at all for a child at the age of seven to be locked in a desk, for instance. He states that a child at this age, as directed by their neurobiological development, ought to be climbing, touching, feeling, exploring and gaining confidence in their body. (Find out more about Pearce at ttfuture.org.)
Yet, what do we have our children do? Sit in a desk all day. Sit still. Behave. Be quiet.
It’s like we expect a child to be a mini-adult… crikey!
Well, this post really isn’t about how to parent, but it is about the effects of these parenting styles as they pertain to the average 30-40 year-old client who ends up on my table.
The client who ends up resolving repressed rage toward her father.
The client who resolves the feeling of being abandoned by his mother.
The client who was told she has no right to ask for anything because she been a naughty girl.
The client who is dealing with feeling like a piece of shit because her needs inconvenienced the agenda of her parents.
The work we do in the Deep Issue Massage Method is deep, raw and real, although it involves no counseling, advising or psychotherapy. It speaks to the injured parts of us, often cast upon us by unwitting parents who either didn’t know better, or failed to do better.
Here are some common themes of unresolved family dysfunction that show up in the body as outlined in Dr. Michael Lincoln’s amazing book, Messages from the Body:
- “shame-inducing family”
- “severe domination […] by the mother”
- “untrustworthy, denial-dominated, dysfunctional family”
- “sabotaging dysfunctional family system”
- “shoved to the side-lines of their family”
- “extremely oppressive and self-development-preventing environment”
- “systematically denigrated, deprived and degraded in their dysfunctional family”
As you may perceive, these rivers run deep.
So, after all that, now what?
Seeking out safe and supportive environments that encourage yet challenge your self-development is vital. Families can be this. Communities can be this. Collections of people who are looking for the same type of support can be this. (I’m not going to say “like-minded” because I feel it can be somewhat dangerous to be around “like-minded” people too often, as it may cause a loss of perspective, IMO.)
To be honest, I really don’t buy into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ per se. I like to focus on, “Is it useful?”
However, in the spirit of the title of this article, here goes… The bad is that unless you find a way to resolve the unresolved, the programs running in the sub-conscious mind that have tricked you into thinking you are any less than amazing and capable, they will continue to disrupt your bliss. This is work, no matter how you look at it. People like to say, “time heals all wounds”, and I would like to offer a little different take on that. Try this on for size:
What you may have to look at in order to resolve the unresolved may appear ‘ugly’, but I can tell you from my own experience, AND the experiences of those I work with, that it may be a sheep in wolf’s clothing. By this I mean that the gift that awaits you when you tackle the ‘ugly’ is often more beautiful than you previously ever imagined possible… a pretty cool trade off really.
Don’t you think?
Please let me know if any of the above-listed family behaviours fit your family dynamic, or let me know how yours is different.