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#49 The Abuse that Keeps on Giving

I heard somewhere that we all have the ability to make people feel the way we were made to feel when we were growing up. It stuck with me.

I went down a spiral of wondering how easy it is for some people to make me feel safe, heard, loved, appreciated, respected, and on the other hand for others to make me feel insecure, worthless, put down, guilty, a nuisance.

What I had always thought of as being a ‘vibe’ that someone has, I now think is a remnant, a mirror reflection of their childhood. The mood and feeling we find easy to recreate around us is the one that we’ve been the most familiar with when we were young: and it’s not always good.

Any upbringing will be imperfect, but it’s imperfect in important ways. There’s these fine lines somewhere between being an innocent child, an unaware teenager and then a proper adult where we move towards increased responsibility for the people we are.

The act of growing up for me has very much been the act of recognising who I am: what states of being I find natural, familiar and normal and questioning whether they really should be that way. Undoing damage is necessary, because otherwise, it just turns into abuse that keeps on giving.

The voice of our caregivers can become a main protagonist in our mind. It’s living our life. We internalise that familiar voice, attitude, way of viewing the world and, most importantly: ourselves and hear it broadcasted into our mind forever. What would we feel if the voice wasn’t in our head, but sitting next to us on the couch, eating dinner with us on the table, sitting next to us on the bus? How fast would we walk up and go away, and why don’t we do that now?

This has turned into a ramble, but as a passionate fan of introspection and emotional warmth, here’s to much more work in that direction.

🪄 Quote of the week
“The one who notices is already free.”

Michael Singer, with Readwise



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