Friday, March 27, 2009
Mom and Dad, Part 2
Now that you've shared the greatest achievements and greatest failures of your parents in raising you (and you've let your answers percolate in your mind), I have a follow-up question for you.
If you are married or in a long term relationship, what is the greatest part of your relationship? What is the worst part, i.e., the thing that causes the most disappointment or strife?
Now, can you find any similarities to your answers regarding your parents? Are there common themes?
We often depart childhood with unfinished business, and that business will be taken up with our future partners. Why do we tend to choose to be with people who remind us of our parents on some deep, subconscious level? First, because they seem comfortable and familiar. But more importantly, they offer us another shot at taking care of that unfinished business from childhood. As an extreme example, suppose that you grew up with abusive parents. You may drift toward abusive partners in the hope that you can finally take whatever action is necessary to make them love you and stop hurting you. Just as you always wished for your parents to love you and not hurt you as a child.
How about you? As you've thought these questions through, are you chasing after unfinished business? If you are, it may very well be poisoning your happiness. These cycles often bury themselves beneath our ability to see them. How do you find them? Their footprints will be on those areas where you've tended to feel threatened, unsatisfied, or unhappy in your relationships.
If your relationships follow cycles, you may very well be carrying unfinished business.