Parents are generally conditioned to hold shame for their children when they do things the parent thinks they shouldn’t, and in most parent/child relationships that I’ve observed, the parent doesn’t even recognize that they are holding anything that disparages their child.
The well meaning parent tends to act on shame in a way that seems kind and caring on the surface, but the child can sense the underlying energy, and this makes for turmoil and disrespect between parent and child.
As a parent who previously held shame for her children, I’d like to share how the shame finally let go of me. First, I let myself completely off the hook for any hurt caused by me, and I imagined what it would feel like to experience mutual respect between myself and my children.
To me, the first step is the most important because no mental pattern can be released without first being acknowledged and accepted. Next, I got very familiar with how it feels when shame is given life through me.
If any “poor me” thoughts would arise while I was wallowing in the feeling of shame I didn’t unconsciously give them my attention but I stayed with that feeling until it subsided on its own. This is where I got hooked back in many times because the temptation to multiply the energy of shame was temporarily stronger than my faith that shame is a false illusion. When this happened, I immediately fell back on step number one – letting myself off the hook and imagining the joy of having what I seemed to be wanting.
The rest was done without any effort on my part, and now I can maintain my boundaries while being in full acceptance of my kids’ expression because shame has no power over me. In fact, I have become so sensitive to shame that it’s simply too heavy for me to carry for more than a moment.
Naturally, this has created more joy in my experience of relating with my children than I could have dreamed possible only a few years ago!
This blessing is available to every parent who is willing to receive it.