Self-Care Tip #194 – Take what is already yours. Be a friend to yourself.
Parenting, we hold the power in the relationship between us and our child/ren. If we are emotionally maltreated by our child/ren, we parents are still the ones with the power. What are we giving to her if we teach her that we will take the terrible words and dark emotions? When we take the projected anger when we have the power to choose not to, what message are we giving to ourselves about ourselves? What is the message if we say by our actions that Love demands from us to accept, to take and to be a victim to the emotional abuse? Is that what love tells us?
It is difficult to receive maltreatment from anyone. And because of the suffering involved, we can misinterpret the message, “This is the sacrifice that Love demands” – the sacrifice is doing what other people want before taking care of yourself.
It is difficult not to receive maltreatment as well. Which choice is more consistent with our understanding of Love? The words in the message might be the same, “This is the sacrifice that Love demands.” However, the interpretation of the message, of what the sacrifice is – that meaning is different. The sacrifice is, rather, taking care of yourself first so that you have the best of you to offer to others.
To read more on this topic, please see posts, Criticize if You Love Me, Listen to The Intention in What People Say and Stop! Before Hurting Yourself or Others.
Because we as parents hold the power in the relationship, we can feel trapped by our own power. What a confusion for many of us. Holding power but feeling helpless. Holding a stick in both hands, so to speak, not seeing that we can still use our occupied hands for anything else in the mean time.
This kind of choice takes Love. This is the kind of choice that is a work of a life-time or of a moment, but is life. See, Let It Go and Keep Going.
We can’t teach others that we are valuable and how to treat us with Love if we don’t do it ourselves for ourselves. When we act on Love, self-care means that we don’t accept treatment that is inconsistent with Love. If we accept bad treatment, we are saying that self-care is accepting our lack of choices versus making the choices that are still available despite the circumstance.
This of course applies to any relationship. It applies to any connection, whether it is in the work-place, marriage, if you are the child in the parent-child role, friendships – take your pick. You can choose Love. You can choose. Self-care starts and ends with “Me.”
Freedom is a gift. No matter how many times it is wrapped up and placed in our hands, if we don’t open it, use it, own it, we will never have it. Freedom to choose has been given to us before we were born, just like our salvation. The salvation will never be taken away. Nor the freedom. Both are elemental and constant. But if we don’t pull on the ribbon, lift the lid and take – we can’t expect anything but living without what was inside. Does the title “victim” even hold if it was our choice not to take what was already ours?
Question: How do you claim your freedom to choose when all you perceive at the time is what has been taken away? Please tell me your story.
- The Act of Forgiveness (socyberty.com)
- The Ball is in Our Court (ptl2010.wordpress.com)
- We always have a choice…. (thbloom.wordpress.com)
- Adolescence and parental support. (psychologytoday.com)
I don’t know if this is what you are looking for or not, but I grew up very abused. It was something that was just part of my life. I have chosen not to teach my children those same lessons. Sometimes I yell, sometimes I am not as kind as I could be, but they are not beaten or called names. They are not treated as if they don’t matter or aren’t important. One of our best rules is the one that says when you can’t be nice or kind, when you need to pout or throw a fit, that is perfectly acceptable as long as it is in your own room. You have to remain there until you are calm and willing to join the family again. I even go to my room for the same reasons. We might not be able to help what we feel, but we are totally in control as to how we act. That is the choice we make. What we will do with those emotions and whether they will be used for kindness or hurt.
pattyann, what a thing to share. i am so grateful for this loving comment. we r all less alone for knowing bits more of your courageous life story and courageous life choices. keep on.
I am not sure love should ‘demand” sacrifice. It is not a contract. Perhaps we tolerate abuse because we erroneously think that part of love is “sticking through rough times”.These are supposed to be hardships faced together but not abuse. Love depends on reciprocity. I think we settle for a low estimation of what it should be because we are afraid of being alone. When the relationship is abusive whether the pain is given or received it’s time to “take the bus, Gus” Contemporary sociology calls far too often break-ups as “disposable relationships” because it is so easy to move on rather than try to work things out. They can call it whatever they may, but I will not let my life be disposable either from the actions of other or myself. Self care is not selfish. It enables us to be loving and selfless. Big difference.
golden carl. so well said! thank u so much much!!!
Thank you for this, Doc.
u r welcome one and only cin. thank u also for sharing this w us – reading, commenting…
This is difficult in the ‘sandwich generation’ too. What to do if it is your parents bringing the “terrible words & dark emotions” and your children are witness to you tolerating that? It is very hard to navigate a different course with your own parents, and yet to continue, in front of your own children, is as destructive to them as it is to you.
Not an act I know how to balance myself.
nicely said Express. i know this is something many of us struggle w. our kids learning to choose, to feel empowered, to know that they should be treated with respect – comes easier when we model that. keep us posted along the way about this “act” u are growing in knowledge of. big hug.
Fabulous thoughts in your post and comments. I think one of the most difficult thing many of us learn to do is to distance ourselves from “toxic people” within our own families. We don’t have to cut them off or stop loving them…we just need some space between interactions. I’ve had to do that which has allowed me to grow personally, see them in a different perspective, love them for who they are, and only accept what I need in return.
i hear singing. that was so melodic. really enjoyed that comment. many thanks.
“Victim”; I have heard these words, expressed in a narrow mindedness of conclusion:” They Are A Victim Of Their Own Choice!” I really have a difficult time relating to this reasoning. I agree that wrong decisions/choices are made throughout one’s lifetime. That can be assessed to the individual situations and the availability in resolving them. Again, there are many factors involved; in a person’s methods of resolution. A person’s reactions/actions are given to their conclusions they have available or can resort to. In the degree of the individualized weight and effect it has upon them. A child whom is emotionally & physically abused; molested; a woman whom is physically or emotionally degraded; an elderly person and persons whom are physically or emotionally incapacited…all can be the victims of agressors. But, there are the conditions of economic; widowed, orphaned; physical, emotional limitations. Hardships and conditions that are relevant and threatening to the victim’s living and means to their comfort, health and prosperity. That is why in the beautiful words of Love & Humanity…We Are To Assist Others; Where We Can Contribute; To There Emotional and Physical Heath! We Are To Extend Our Heart & Hands To Overcome Diversity.
yes, there r ugly ugly things that happen to us and others. thank goodness for hope and for you who celebrates it and Love w us. thank u for your comment katherin. keep on.
i think with BPD you never have freedum this is taken away form us in a way we kind of hide away with what ever girlfirend or boyfriend we have and see no light there is a major problem if you do this you see no world and you see no freedom so over time you have to learn to get rid of the cotton wool and nanying and let go i think this will be mutch the same if you have children once you do this you will live a mutch more freeer life yourslef chances are this will go right but there is also a very big chance everything will go wrong but you have to give and take a little
perspective is fickle. w use our perceptions to interpret our reality. perceptions r fickle. we use our senses. we use our emotions. wow. it’s no wonder we have trouble sometimes. 😉 keep on mr. blumer