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Healing the Hurt: Does Your Child Feel Worthless?
April 12, 2012 by Bill Ferguson
Little children start out with a clean slate. They are happy, alive and free. They may be a little wild at times, but under it all, they are pure love. The same is true for all of us. We start out this way, but unfortunately, we are born into a world that suppresses this state.
In the process of growing up, we get hurt, and we get hurt a lot. As little children, the only way we can explain these painful losses of love is to blame ourselves: “Clearly I’m the problem.” We then decide that we are worthless, not good enough, not worth loving, a failure, or some other form of feeling “not okay.”
It’s never the truth that we are this way. It’s just a suppressed emotion. But to a little child, in a moment of hurt, it becomes our truth. This is the only explanation that makes any since at the time. We then go through life fighting the very belief that we created. “No one can ever love me if I’m worthless. Worthless is a horrible way to be.”
It’s the automatic avoidance of this hurt that sabotages our lives. Any circumstance that triggers this hurt is perceived subconsciously as a major threat. To avoid this threat, we fight, resist, hang on and withdraw.
This avoidance makes us defensive and creates a state of fear, upset and tunnel vision. It destroys our ability to find solutions and it forces us to act destructively. It destroys love and creates opposition and resistance against us.
Every area of life that isn’t working and every self-sabotaging behavior can be traced directly to the automatic, subconscious avoidance of this suppressed emotion. Ultimately, all destructive behavior comes from this hurt. Finding and healing this hurt is one of the most important things you can ever do.
As parents, we can’t prevent our children from getting this hurt, but there are things we can do to minimize the damage. Here are a few:
Let your children feel their hurt.
When we get upset, there are all sorts of chemical reactions that happen inside us. These reactions produce a very negative energy. When this negative energy is kept inside, it turns into suppressed emotion and sabotages our lives.
Fortunately, we were created with the natural ability to release this hurt. The best way to see how this works is to look at little children. When they get hurt, they cry and cry. Then, after they finish crying, the hurt is all gone. They are able to release their hurt quickly because they do something that we don’t notice. They feel their hurt willingly. This allows the hurt to come and go.
Unfortunately, we were born into a world that teaches us to suppress this hurt. We hear things like, “Big boys and girls don’t cry,” and “If you want something to cry about, I’ll give you something to cry about.” This destroys the natural healing process. Instead of releasing our negative emotion, the hurt turns into pain and it stays.
As parents, we can teach our children that it is okay to cry and that it is important to release negative emotion. Instead of teaching them to suppress their hurt, we can teach them to release it.
Teach them that it’s okay to be human
When we get this hurt, we lose our ability to be human. We then spend the rest of our lives trying to become a certain way, but no matter what we do, it’s never enough. You will never become worthy enough to get rid of the suppressed emotion of worthless, but you can create all sorts of suffering in the attempt.
The key to being effective in life is to allow yourself to be human. As you do this you take the pressure off. You then become creative, resourceful and very effective. So let your children know that it is okay to be human. It’s okay to make mistakes. This gives them the freedom and the love they need to become happy, productive adults.
To learn more about how to find and heal this hurt, read the book Get Your Power Back by Bill Ferguson and visit www.masteryoflife.com.
Bill Ferguson has been featured on Oprah and is the author of How to Heal a Painful Relationship and Get Your Power Back. You can learn more about his work at www.masteryoflife.com.