Discovering Your Truth and Strategy for Being With Family
1. As a child, what role did you play in your family? (The perfect or responsible one, the pleaser or good child, the clown, the helpless one, the rebel or acting out one, the invisible, ignored or forgotten one, etc.)
2. As a child, what was your “job” in your family? (To make everyone happy, referee between mom and dad, take care of mom and/or dad, distract from what was really going on, be the focus of attention, not need anything, be invisible, etc.)
3. Think of an example of the above, a memory or time of how this happened, how you carried out your role.
4. Allow yourself to just “be with” that situation for a moment and notice what you experience inside, how you feel. Take a few breaths, and make a note below.
5. As you see/ experience your “Little One” what do you imagine s/he is beginning to believe about her/himself? (I’m not okay; I’m not good enough; I’m not lovable; Something must be wrong with me; I don’t belong here, etc.)
6. Now see yourself as the Loving Adult, notice what is really True about your “Little One” (S/he is lovable, capable, good, etc.) and tell her/him so.
7. Now, look again at your “job” in your family and notice as an adult, how you have maintained that role and in your family. (When we get together I/ they still ….. )
8. Come back now and affirm your “Truth” as an adult. (I am good, lovable, etc.) Notice how that feels when you say that aloud.
9. Experiencing your “Truth”, imagine now being with your family in a different way, allowing them to just be who they are. If need be, you can even tell yourself things like: “(Whatever is going on) is not my problem and I don’t have to fix it.” “This does not mean anything about me.” “They are just doing the best they know how to do and it’s not about me.” “I know they care about me.”
10. Make a note about your strategy for being with your family.
Copyright 2013 Marti Glenn, PhD & Ken Bruer, MA, Co-Directors, the STAR Foundation