Reparenting: How to work through childhood sh*t as an adult
this blog post is part of a series, #oneblogpostaday.
the first part of this series is focused on relationships + love.
Take a moment and think about yourself at the age of 6: Where were you? What were you like - funny, quiet, serious, outgoing? What did you like doing? What were the messages that your parents/teachers/friends told you (smart, kind, stupid, silly)?
Believe it or not - up until the age of six, our brains absorb everything. They don’t differentiate between normal or not; they just take it all in. Since they are operating at an extremely slow rate, situations, words, beliefs of what’s right and wrong all filter into a blueprint that guides our lives.
It creates our personal guidance system; our script for what should be doing as we go out into the world.
As we grow older, our conscious mind continues to develop while our subconscious mind keeps that personal guidance system the same (think of it like a big baby brain). Our personal guidance system doesn’t change or evolve over time. And crazy enough, we actually end up carrying that script with us for the rest of our lives - and it guides close to 90% of decisions we make as adults.
In one of my favorite books, You Are A Badass, the author talks about this exact idea:
“From the moment you could take it in, you received messages from the people around you about the way things are - they started filling you up with a lifetime’s worth of beliefs, many of which have nothing to do with who you actually are or what is necessarily true (e.g. the world is a dangerous place, you’re too fat, homosexuality is a curse, size matters, hair shouldn’t grow there, going to college is important, being a musician or an artist isn’t a real career, etc.”
The craziest part? We don’t even realize this is happening. Because no matter how smart or evolved or reflective we are, there’s still some ancient part of our brains that guide our decisions every single day.
So, no matter how we consciously feel about our childhood, there’s a lot of shit going on under the covers
In modern psychology, there’s a term called reparenting.
It’s often used to describe a healing process for those who have experienced memorable trauma in childhood. But, no matter if you remember your childhood as rainbows and butterflies or want to completely block it out, it’s helpful to check in with our Inner Child and see how it’s impacting our lives today.
Because remember - we are guided by the stories we tell ourselves (and heck, what others have told us). So, we need to take a good, deep look at them and let go of what we don’t need.
There are a couple of different ways that we could reparent ourselves - depending on the time, $$ and level of depth we need.
1. See the stories for what they are
Remember - your subconscious is a big old baby (it stopped growing at 6 years old, right?). So, take some time to understand what it’s been telling you all these years.
Make a list of all the things that aren’t going too well in your life right now, and maybe what’s been holding you back. Do you have mental blocks around making (too much) money? Are you struggling in the relationship sector?
Take some time to reflect about what stories you might have there. What was going on in your early childhood that might be tied to this current block in your life right now?
Start by noticing. By observing. And then, you can take steps to make change.
2. Try some of that spiritual sh*t
Meditation and breathwork have been really important in this form of healing for me. And no - I don’t just mean deep breathing (well, partially).
Breathwork is an ancient modality that triggers memories and subconscious thoughts to come to the surface (you can hear more about it + my experience in this podcast episode!). It’s honestly an amazing tool to use because it all it takes is a deep breath - but this impact is profound.
Even if you’re not into woo-woo things, mantra-style meditation is extremely helpful to release old stories and create new ones. I also like EFT Tapping for this practice as well.
3. Talk to a professional
Sometimes, doing this type of deep work isn’t easy on your own.
As you begin this process and possibly realize that there are issues or blocks that are too big for you to take on yourself - don’t hesitate to call a professional. Whether that’s a therapist, a coach or even finding a community. It’s a completely normal part of the process and means you’re doing some real work.
Of course, these are just a few ways that you can begin to dive into this world of your subconscious.
If you’re interested in flexing this muscle further, but don’t want to start alone I’ve heard great things about Lacy Phillip’s Reparenting Course. She also has some great free resources on her website as well.
I can’t wait to hear more about your journey in this space! Share how it’s going in the O.A. Facebook Group + inspire others to go on this path with you.