Watching the film “Love & Other Drugs” this Sunday morning, a pharmaceutical salesman, Jamie, begins a “tempestuous romance with a free-spirited Parkinson’s patient.” Unexpectedly, he falls desperately in love with Maggie Murdock who is afraid to let herself love (“Who wants to be in a relationship with a sick girl?” she thinks.) and therefore holds him at arms length.
There is a scene where Jamie, a successful pharmaceutical sales rep, is talking to his mother on the phone, bragging about making 2,000 sales for the month. After he hangs up Maggie asks, “I thought you told me your sales for the month were 1,200 – why did you tell your mother 2,000?” His reply: “It sounded better.” Maggie then asks “Do you also tell me things that are not true because it sounds better?” She walks over to the claw foot bath tub he’s casually reclining in – fully clothed – (sorry this is about love, not sex) and says, “Tell me four good things about yourself.” He could not!
If your parents didn’t love you just as you were, since you were not yet able to consider the possibility that this unmet need may have been about them – not you – the only possible conclusion you were able to reach was that you must not be lovable! From there you were likely to unconsciously wear the label “Not Good Enough!!” From this common childhood experience of personal rejection and emotional abandonment, no amount of desire you have for sweet everlasting love will allow you to understand what that looks like, feels like or how to find it. Rather it is likely that you pursue relationships with unrealistic expectations.
This pattern of unfulfilling co-dpendent relationships gets passed on generation after generation, until someone says “Enough!”
If you were one of the many children who did not feel understood, respected, appreciated, unconditionally loved and remain confused about what healthy, responsible, generous and mature loving relationships are all about, possibly the most important thing you will ever do in your life is to learn how to take YOU, into your own heart!!
Do that and you will be capable of finding and maintaining a healthy love relationship with another. However, please realize life is short, so do it now!
Yes You Can!!!
Image from Emily Rachel Hildebrand under Creative Commons license.
After reading Wounded Parent, Wounded Child, all that comes to mind is how my stepfather always pointed out how nothing I did was ever good enough. If I got a 98 on an exam, he would say” all you needed were 2 points for a 100.” I never heard a compliment like, “That’s a great score.” or “I am proud of you.” It was always what I lacked to be better or perfect. It made me feel that there was always something wrong with ME. I grew up feeling unloveable and found it hard to love myself. It is only recently that I have begun to look at myself in another light. I am a good person. I can do many wonderful things. I am loveable. This article makes me realize that it was his own wounds that made him point me out so often. As a parent, I tried to turn my negative experience into a positive by commending my child when she shows me grades on exams she has studied a lot for. I encourage her when tells me the score was not what she wanted and feels down. I always tell her that she did her best and there is always next time to get the grade she was aiming for. I NEVER put her down and make her feel less than because I remember what it made me feel like as a child when my stepfather did it to me.
Many people spend their lives suffering from childhood wounds. Your willingness to look within yourself and your personal history in order to identify the source of your emotional and relationship problems required considerable courage. As you have already begun to see – that decision is paving the way toward a new life of personal freedom for you and your ability to model it for your daughter too. Good choice!!
Slam dunkin like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote infromatvie articles.
Very true! Makes a cahgne to see someone spell it out like that. :)
Thanks for your thuohgts. It’s helped me a lot.