The slower pace of summer may offer the opportunity to address childhood trauma and focus on “reparenting”.
Indy Counselor Suggests “Reparenting” Option this Summer
As an Indianapolis speaker, columnist, therapist and coach, I have observed that many people have had to overcome terrible trauma in their childhoods. When children have lived through difficult times by experiencing abandonment or rejection, or having been raised by a critical parent, they often grow up feeling like they don’t matter.
Many of these people have found the strength to be resilient. They have decided not to let their past define them, and that they will look for ways to feel good about themselves. They have decided they are not going to give their childhood, or the negative people in their life, the power to make them feel inferior. They realize that their inner strengths are those things that will get them through the tough times.
Would you categorize your childhood as difficult? Are you able to identify your own personality strengths that reaffirm your coping skills, your resiliency and your gifts?
Personality strengths are adjectives that describe who you are and what is unique about you. Could you name 25 personality strengths that help make up your character, your personality and your self-esteem? Personality strengths look like “I am kind, confident, generous, loving,” and help affirm the special and unique qualities about you.
You are not your trauma from the past, and although it may take work, you should never let the negativity that has occurred in your childhood define you. Psychologists call it “reparenting” when you re-form how you feel about yourself by using coping skills that emphasize your strengths.
When you re-parent, you speak to yourself in a kind and compassionate way. Many people have found it helpful to use affirmations that not only identify the truth of their current situation, but also the evidence that they are a good person. These affirmations are often grounded in the struggle of daily life and their personal strengths.
They may look like, “Even though I have had a tough childhood and was not given positive affirmation to believe in myself, as an adult I am able to recognize my strengths and know my own uniqueness.” Or, “Even though I lived with an alcoholic father who raged and made me feel bad about myself, I have learned to become a loving person who affirms others to reinforce their truths.”
Adults who have lived through childhood wounding know that they can change how they perceive the world, and themselves. They are not defined by their trauma!
What messages did you receive as a child? Were they generally positive or did you live in a home with much negativity? Have you turned them around and grown from them?
Write down 25 positive adjectives that define what you like about yourself.
Create affirmations that acknowledge the past and identify your strengths.
Make peace with your past by recognizing how strong you have become because of it. When you use this type of thinking, you no longer are a victim to your past. You become a survivor and a “thriver” which allows you to celebrate who you are.
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