…..it may be safe to say that it takes some people an entire LIFETIME to finally, really grow up. I can say this with all certainty now that I’ve read a great informative psych book – that is not your typical psychology book at all…….
I will say that this book really, really spoke to me: big time.
I can’t tell you all the ways it reached me, it would take many blog-posts, but I will tell you some of the highlights thus far:
- Learning that everyone has a “history” they bring to the relationship, that dictates their motives, decisions and actions. Whether it inhibits or propels them depends….i.e.:
- … my mother felt extremely insecure growing up, unsafe, put out there, and not protected whatsoever – she realized it more so when she was raising her own children and grew very bitter toward her mother’s parenting. Although my mother wasn’t overly protective of her own children, she was very limiting toward our growth; her feelings of “everything out there isn’t safe”, poured over through her to our parenting and continues to stream through her to us her children, and thus grandchildren.
- So my goal was to identify this cycle, and work on stopping it – basically the old adage of not becoming one’s parent; the negative part of the parent of course. But my mother’s abandonment mentality (leave when the going gets tough with someone, just give them up basically), leaves me paralyzed thinking, if I don’t do what she wants, which in reality would limit my children’s opportunities, keep them under constant watch, lock and key because it’s a super cruel horrible world out there, then she’ll get angry with me and cut me out of her life. So I fear rejection. She has done it to others – however, she has mellowed much in older age, and I have wised up much! No, she’s not an ogre or dominant person at all, she is a very sweet lady really, but she does have power for sure because she brings a very emotional bitter history with her, to every conversation, toward every decision – the insecurity she endured that was never addressed causes a LOT of anxiety in our dynamic of raising children. So much so, I believe now (through DNA) she and at least one of my sons (as I can pass it to my off spring) are hardwired with this anxiety overload.
On parents: "Parental complexes do not go away; they simply go underground and infiltrate other regions of the personality." (p 117)
- “Each parent in a family is someone’s child, and is a refugee from some other family, which in turn was governed by someone else’s child, someone who has long faded into inscrutable history. We ask too much of someone else’s child to be a perfect parent, and yet their psychological shortfall creates the burden of history for them and their children, which invisibly governs lives for decades to come.” (p 111)
- “..the most profound effect on the child is the life the parents (and the ancestors too, for we are all dealing with the age-old psychological phenomenon of original sin) have not lived.” (p 1112)
- Education: the author highly endorses liberal arts. I love him for this! Quotes: "I strongly advocate the study of a liberal arts curriculum for all persons, because we can always learn the tools of a trade on the job, and in this era of constant change we may practice many trades before we're done." then, " Making a living is the easy part, but far more critical is what liberates us from the limits of our family and cultural history." "The liberal arts, however, contribute to the liberating art of a more considered, more thoughtful, more variegated sensibility, which in the end is necessary for more free choices." (p. 121, 122)
I would like to share more, but maybe another time. I highly recommend this book – highly so. For young adults and middle aged ones alike.