A Stressful Childhood
Continued from yesterday…
Many of us were criticized in our childhood, unfavorably compared to a sibling, or bullied at school, which created a stressful childhood. As adults, these experiences now contribute to making lifestyle and career choices that lead to further stress. The reason why is quite evident: we have convinced ourselves that finding acceptance and love are linked with stressful circumstances.
A child growing up in a home with alcoholism or abuse may develop an overly care-taking ego, having learned that the parent’s needs came first and their erratic behavior required compliance. While in an emotionally neglectful household, illness may be a way for a child to gain needed attention. In this case, the egoic pattern throughout their life is based on being physically and emotionally weak as a way to get others to show them compassion and care.
Even if we are raised in loving families, we cannot completely escape the ego’s hold on our subconscious. Because as children we will at some point invariably experience rejection or distress. Coded into our subconscious, these negative feelings then guide us throughout our lives.
When we fail to live up to the standards that the ego has created for being worthy of love, we may turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain we feel or get involved with some self-absorbed or even illicit activity to get back at the haters—that may include joining a gang, cult, or sect that makes us feel accepted.
At some point, unless we first end up in prison or even dead from our addictions, we may come to our senses and realize the deception we are in. We may then look for love from a partner who we think will complete us, perhaps start living vicariously through our children, or maybe even turn to religion for certainty.
The ego’s search for acceptance and love is constant. Never able to escape the perpetual fear that it may not be enough for love, the ego is the cause of the inner suffering we experience.
To be continued tomorrow…
Adapted from chapter 4 of Awakening To I Am Love by David Youngren
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