From a real-life story that made its way online.
A question appeared in one of the coaching groups I am a part of — Mastermind.com, that’s a group for people interested in transformation coaching as well as those providing it.
The question came from one of the group members. For the purpose of protecting the person’s sensitive personal information, there’s no reference to their name and personal details and the message has been edited slightly.
How to forget the past, when being rejected by your own father and every relationship? I feel like I am not good enough and that stops me from achieving my goals. This feeling has dragged me for two decades, and now I don’t feel good enough to even try.
Obviously, as for every social platform, there were various sort of reactions to this post. Some were coming from coaches and other professionals in the field of psychology or therapy, yet, most of them were from people who just shared their opinion on the subject without having an experience, personal or professional, or qualifications to advise the person on the matter above.
Some of the thoughts sounded something like this.
Response 1: Focus on the positivity and your current situation and what you want to achieve for the future. As hard as it might be, try to forgive your father and wish him well. The past was there to teach you.
Response 2: Tell me, would you like to go to the theatre to watch the most nauseous movie at least 1000 times? Sure you wouldn’t do that, you are not stupid or are you? But why are you watching the one in your head probably more than a thousand times? Don’t you think enough is enough? Now it’s time to play something else. After all, it’s your mind and you are in charge over there.
Response 3: It’s tough I don’t know if you believe but remember that God loves you and that you are perfect in his eyes. I’m not sure if you could ever forget the past but maybe except that people are not perfect and make mistakes and they may not even realize it. Your dad and anyone else are no better than you. You are good enough, you are you and no one can take that from you. Accept that you are special, different unique and loved. Sending you positive energy.
Response 4: Then you are succeeding in failure. Turn your thoughts around and learn from your experiences. I believe in you and so do others.
Response 5: My father has rejected me as well. Here’s how I’ve learned to deal with it. I’ve come to realize that I cannot control the actions or feelings of others, but my own actions and feelings. The easy thing to do is to treat him the way that he treats me, but it’s not the right thing to do. I realized that I love my father and I should treat him so even if I get nothing in return (which I don’t).
So I tell him that I love him and he says nothing back. I get nothing in return from him. That’s not the point though. The point is that I can lay down at night and sleep well knowing that I’ve done what I should have done. I know that I’ve done the right thing. I can live with that. He will have to live with the way that he treats me and the things that he has done. I am in complete control of my actions and feelings.
Reading this has made me cringe and think whether this — sort of advice — can really help a person? Does it help them to understand what’s wrong? What they’re doing wrong first of all, what needs changing and what they can do to shift their situation? Their thoughts, beliefs and perspective? To move from where they are and create something better for themselves?
I doubt so. And I doubt so because everyone above was sharing advice based on their perspective or experience. Nobody tried to understand what this woman was going through and react based on her perspective — what she needed, and her limiting beliefs that are fueling her thoughts before giving advice about what she should do almost immediately.
I don’t support the statements given above such as to a.) focus on the positive and now, b.) forgive the unloving father and move on, c.) focus on what she wants to achieve for her future, d.) believe that God loves her and that she’s good enough anyway, e.) feel bad for having the feelings and thoughts she has and forcing her transformation even if it’s not clear what that means, f.) push herself to love her father anyway because that is ‘’the right thing to do’’ or what ‘’should’’ be done.
Here are my thoughts on the subject above.
About emotions — love and rejection
One thing I learned in life is that no emotions can be forced. Neither the feel-good emotions or the feel-bad emotions.
Now if we look at emotions and relationships from the perspective of what is right to do or what we have to or should do, there’s never going to be any true feelings in that. How could it be if we’re forcing ourselves to do something out of obligation or thinking about what others would say?
Should or have to is conditioning, it’s not what we/ you want, neither desire. It’s what you do, perhaps for what you were told by someone else, because you believe it’s your responsibility, or the right thing to do. Something that has to be done. When it’s a must, not a want, emotions are missing.
If you do something because you should, not want to, you also think it should lead to some result. Such as, doing it should give you peace because you’ve done what you should have. Only, that it doesn’t, the peace is not real, neither lasting, because the action was forced. It’s incomplete or empty.
Now, how come some parents not love and even abandon their children? Well, it may seem ‘terrible’ on the outside if we are judging the actors here, yet it’s not.
Love such as other emotions can’t be forced. It can’t be even deserved. It either is there or not. There’s no right or wrong about it.
Whether it is right or wrong for somebody to have certain feelings or a lack of them, it doesn’t matter, because the fact is it’s their feelings we have no control over. Thinking this doesn’t help us.
If we get into judging people for feelings they have, and for who they are, it takes our focus away from ourselves and puts us in a victim position. As victims, we take all our power away by deliberately giving it to those who had disempowered us.
We can never change people who don’t love us, don’t care for us or don’t support us. We can’t force them to. We can only work with ourselves — our feelings and thoughts, and change how we feel and think. As well as how someone’s feelings or a lack of them impacts us and how we can perceive it — differently.
About feeling not-good-enough
The girl from the story didn’t feel good enough because of her father’s rejection/ abandonment. As well as because of what happened in her other relationships where she faced the same.
She didn’t feel good enough because she was looking for an external validation for her value — from her father, and potentially, partners too. That suggests that she didn’t work (neither understood the need) to create her own value.
What we — many of us, do is that we base our value on external factors such as bad experiences with people, and then we blame those people and experiences on where we are and how we feel about ourselves. Yet, the fact is that we are the ones who’ve accepted to label ourselves with the value given by the external experience. Nobody else has done it, we did, therefore there’s nobody to blame for where we are and what we’re experiencing.
We are the ones who base our value on certain beliefs — whether they’re correct or not, and in most cases, they’re the limiting beliefs about who we are.
And then, when we have beliefs such as that we’re not enough and start any new relationships, all those relationships became a mere a reflection of what we think and feel about ourselves and what we’re telling yourself. If I don’t feel that I am enough, everything in my life will start reflecting that. Relationships, jobs, other experiences. And it’s not based on my initial experience, it’s based on my choice to sustain this belief.
Ultimately, there’s no reason for us to be in the victim role. As we’re the responsible ones here, the ones in power. The actors of our own play. Nobody else plays it for us but ourselves.
Of course, external circumstances will always be present, we will have various kind of experiences in life, but the only thing that ensures we know our true value is knowing ourselves for who we are. Without needing repetitive external validation.
And so, how can one shift their perspective about who they are from the victimhood role in low vibrational field into a healthy one? It is by:
1. Realizing that we are the ones who create our value, not the external experiences, people and circumstances,
2. Getting to know ourselves for who we are, for what our strengths are, what we are good at, what we excel at, not for who others think we are and what they define for us,
3. Integrating the two and building a foundation for healthy self-esteem and personal value based on internal factors — our personal awareness and inner strengths.
This is the only way to create a lasting self-value that’s not shaking just by anything. If this is achieved, there’s no need a person has for love that’s forced or for giving out love and expecting it to be reciprocated.