A few weeks ago I blogged Negative Love Syndrome – It Can Stop Here. If you didn’t read it give it a read now, and the Hoffman .pdf. I’ll wait for you to do that before I continue.
Great, now we’re on the same page.
Okay, I don’t disagree with the article or the concept of Negative Love Syndrome (NLS) but if you’re reading a self-improvement / self-awareness blog it’s pretty clear that the concept isn’t flushed out. I had a feeling there was an emptiness to it when I read it the first batch of times but didn’t figure it out until this weekend while I was at the Landmark Forum.
Here’s the deal with it:
Your parents create you and those who surround you are the ones who teach you most of what it is to be alive – survival skills, the skills of intimacy, and how to engage others. Good, bad, whatever. For example, if a mother used alcohol to cope with missing her family overseas, the child may learn to avoid getting close to other people to prevent what they judge to be a wrong type of behavior. If a father yelled because he never learned how to express his emotions his children may learn to avoid saying no or try and avoid disappointing people by never expressing their organic feelings. This makes sense. While not the same thing, both are a manifestation of a lack of authenticity which is the origin of negative love.
The concept is complete only when the individual identifies and addressed their responsibility in the existence of their NLS. Believing that your parents or caregivers did something wrong is a compelling slap to their face. Occasionally someone will do a horrible thing, but in many of the cases the parents were just people doing the best job they could, the only way they knew how. It’s nice to blame them for not doing what you believe would have been a better job, but chances are that they were younger than you are now when they did the things that shaped your NLS. If you are an adult and still blame your parents you are still a child. If you are a parent and still blame your parents you are lowering the potential for unlimited success and joy in the life of your children because you are a child raising children.
A parents role it to keep you alive until you are able to be independent. That’s it. Take responsibility for your place in life, your decision to transfer blame for your life onto them and others and get out of the past. Thank your parents for a job well done and ask your parents for forgiveness for being judgmental for their actions. If you don’t you are going to remain exactly the same as them.
Make no mistake about it, they feel it and believe that they have failed as a parent. Man-up, and let them know just how successful they were because you are alive. Let yourself be beautiful, vibrant and joyful. You don’t just owe them that, you owe them EVERYTHING.