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In my note on the four kinds of self-negativity, I described a “cutting off” of a part of yourself that happened in childhood, where your inner voice of self-negativity got “installed” within you, painfully and over time.
So then a natural next question is: Why does this happen in childhood, and how does it happen?
In my work with meditation students, here is what I’ve seen. Self-negativity is largely inherited from one’s family — but it is not their fault.
Self-negativity is passed on unwittingly, as one might pass along a genetic trait, or a family custom.
Here’s how it happens
Every family has a certain sensibility around what is “normal and good” and what is not. When a child strays outside this zone, the parents will guide her back, which is fine—but then there is a vast diversity of methods and values around how to get this done.
How does a family get its kids back into the desired zone? Does it use patient explanations? Does it allow for questioning and discussion? Does it use sarcasm and ridicule? Does it use physical violence? Does it use shame?
Every family will have a “normal operating mode” of how it teaches values and enforces behavior. And if the operating mode of a family makes heavy use of unquestionable, unexplained rules, shame, sarcasm and even violence, then there will be a powerful seeding of a self-negative inner voice as a result.
This self-negative inner voice will then be active in the mind, long after the child has grown up — and even after her parents have passed on. The self-negative voice lives on in the mind until the person is able to pin it down, and self-heal it.
Who’s to blame in all this?
Since self-negativity must be inherited in order to be passed on, it is not really fair to blame any single generation of parent in the long flow of generations.
Said another way, if you feel you got your self-negative inner voice from your parents, it is not fair to blame just them, because they got it from their parents too. Your specific strain of self-negative inner voice has traveled a long way to get to you — it has transmuted and come down through countless generations of your family, right alongside your DNA, cultural traditions, religious beliefs and language. It’s all one flow.
What you’re really hearing when a parent yells
Every parent loves their child. Partly, this is because a child is a kind of “extension of the self” for the parent — the child literally starts as a mini-version of her parents — and she is loved and protected as such.
However when she strays outside the zone, her parents will tend to use the same “emotional dialect” to nudge her back, that they learned to speak from their own parents — and which is still speaking to them via their inner mental voice.
And if a parent has inherited a self-negative inner voice, when push comes to shove, this is the voice that will come blurting out towards the child, and usually behind closed doors. Because when a parent is stressed or anxious toward their child — this literal extension of their own “self” — their verbal force will come out the same language that they use when they are berating themselves internally.
In other words, when you hear a parent yelling at their child in a jarringly harsh manner, you are actually getting an inadvertent peek into how that parent actually talks to himself internally —and you only get to hear it because this “child extension” of their self that they are yelling at… happens to be in a separate physical body.
This also implies that a parent’s harsh negativity is not applied out of malice, but from a kind of unwitting fairness. The child is is being given the exact same treatment that the parent gives herself internally. And when a parent’s inner treatment is harshly self-negative, this self-punishment is simply passed on from parent to child, like any other language or genetic code.
What if you’re a parent too
However, the biggest thing you can do to protect your kids from self-negativity is to heal the negative inner voice within your own self.
It’s a bit like having the flu — if you have it, and you live with your kids, no matter how much you clean and disinfect, they will still likely get your flu — and it’s not your fault — nobody expects you to move out, or to stop breathing!
So then the only way to really, fully protect them, is to “heal the flu” in yourself, first. If you no longer speak to yourself with harsh negativity, then you will no longer speak to your kids with harsh negativity. Your kids will not catch your virus, because there is nothing left to catch.
Your generation will then speak with an entirely new and different dialect, and in passing this new dialect onward through your kids, you will end up liberating your entire future line of descendants from inherited self-negativity — millions of future family members, forward through the generations.
As a parent, you have the opportunity— but not the obligation — to do this.
How to heal the wound itself
This is the true meaning of “recovery” – that a person must recover this exiled part of themselves, so that they may become truly whole and healed.
Here at Preside Life, we teach a very specific, unique method for helping people self-heal this type of wound, quickly and privately. Tap the button below to hear a version of the method that can take as little as 7 days to complete.
If you feel this wound in your own self, I guarantee that by the end of this 6-minute briefing, you will already feel better, and will have a clear path for how to fully heal it in your own life, once and for all.
Here is the link (remember to unmute your phone):
(mobile-friendly, 6-minute audio)