I have done a significant amount of investigation into knowing myself at a deeper level and that self-knowledge has led to significant if not quantum changes in my life, changes I value so very much. One of the most important pieces I discovered in my learning was my buried (unconscious) childhood agenda. The experiences I had as a child caused me to form certain beliefs, feelings and conclusions about myself and about life in general. These beliefs likely served me when I was young. In many ways my behaviour felt necessary to survive. Without the ability to take care of myself I had to please the ones who could, my parents. Like all children I was highly vulnerable to my parents’ moods, circumstances and what they were willing to know. However healthy or unhealthy these patterns of behaviour were, I have successfully arrived at adulthood. However, the problem with continuing my childhood agenda into adulthood is that even though it may have served me as a child, it is not likely to serve me as an adult because my circumstances have changed significantly. I am independent, I have more skills and intelligence, I have a wider variety of choices, I live in different environments, etc. Keeping up these behavioural patterns that served me in childhood has now created problems for me in adulthood.
Let’s start with what my childhood agenda actually was and then see how that agenda did not serve me well as an adult. Then I will discuss how I changed this agenda it to be aligned with my truth.
My parents general attitudes and behaviour could be described as depressive, unavailable, impatient, and angry. This led me to feel sad, ashamed, angry and rejected throughout my childhood. My parents frustrated me further by making me feel responsible for their anger, burdens and pain. They also used me as a pawn in their own conflict and beat me violently many times, with the intent to severely injure me. As a result I lived in fear and felt that I was excluded from the family, dominated and neglected. To avoid further pain and subdue the fear, I would do my best to be nice, agreeable, polite and responsible. These characteristics became my currency for survival. I wanted to be told that I matter and that I was worthy to spend time with, and feel safe when I went to bed.
My currency for survival as a child was being nice, agreeable, polite and responsible. With this behaviour I felt that I could subdue the bad behaviour of my parents, that I would be beaten less often and less severely, that I would be included in things, that I mattered and that I was good enough to be loved. I naturally continued using the same currency in adulthood, which led to serious problems including depression, further shame, lack of self worth, anger, and loneliness. It manifested itself into poor health, failed marriages, lack of ambition, poor self-worth, weak relationships, and so on. Now, on the surface, being nice, agreeable, polite and responsible may seem like a good thing. And in some situations it is. However, if it is a default like mine was, it can make you weak and cause frustration in relationships and in the work place. I had trouble setting boundaries and being fierce. I would look at abuse and make excuses or look the other way. Subconsciously I had to be liked or I would not survive because I did not feel that I was loveable. I subconsciously believed that being nice kept me in relationships. As you can see, being in a relationship as a NICE person or a GOOD BOY, was being in relationships as a person who was not authentic. I was a person living out of my childhood wounds and therefore showing up in life as a wounded little boy. Now my partners had their own crapola, for sure. Even those who had a positive upbringing and good relationships with their parents have their problems. No child goes unscathed through childhood; just look at the pain in the world to see the truth of this. My partner had her own buried (unconscious) childhood beliefs, which made things much worse. Ever wonder why relationships are so hard to do well? It’s because we attempt to solve problems with the same reasoning that caused the problem; the solution needs a different and deeper understanding.
It took massive pain triggered by my marriage to get me to do something about my suffering. In 2005 I got help. To my great fortune I was led to Dov Baron. This is where my journey to authenticity and power began. Dov quickly got me to see the NICE and GOOD BOY and how the behaviour impacted my life and where it was born. My journey then was to understand that firstly I could not change my parents’ beliefs through my behaviour as my parents were unavailable to me in my childhood and as an adult, and secondly that my behaviour was not that of a “powerful man”. With the guidance of Dov, I would learn to feel the pain of my behaviour and make apologies from those I had impacted through the behaviour. I began to heal quickly. My beliefs and behaviours changed. I became different. Being the NICE or GOOD boy left me for the most part in all areas of my life except in my relationship with a life partner. Here, I still struggle. My behaviour here is still in a default position and still applied in some cases in order to maintain the relationship at least for a time. It is hard wired because of my need to get my mother’s love, which never came (my mother wanted the nice or good boy to show up or I would be in trouble). I am aware of the default position and I am making choices to let it go. The nice and good boy will always be a part of me, however its influence is waning.
Discovering and dealing with my buried (unconscious) childhood beliefs has been very important in my life. The work has allowed me to be in authentic relationship with myself and others. I act on my truth, the values I have chosen for myself, my non negotiables, my wishes, my dreams and my vision. I am in the process of becoming a powerful man by accepting the necessity of allowing myself to be vulnerable.
How well do you understand your buried (unconscious) childhood beliefs? If these beliefs are impacting your life, would you not want to know what it is and how it impacts your life? Do you have the commitment and courage to see your truth? Do you want to live the life of your dreams? For me, the only thing that makes life grand is to know thyself very, very, very well indeed. Make the commitment and be a part of real change in the world. As you change, the world changes. Get the help we all so desperately need.