How to finally let go of your “inner parents”

Each one of us carries his mother and father. Sometimes it is advisable to break away from them.

Nothing characterizes us more than our childhood – psychologists agree. Why? Because in this time we learn how life works and how we develop our own identity. Crucial to our development is how we were treated by our parents. For example, did they always encourage us or did we regularly hear slogans like “You’re no good for anything”? Even if they loved us – unfortunately we have not only had good experiences with the mother or the father in our childhood.

Our inner parents are hard to let go

The non- medical practitioner for psychotherapy and coach Andreas Gauger speaks on of the “inner parents”, which we still carry within us. The experiences we have had with parents in our childhood are still influencing our thinking and doing as adults. Negative experiences can be a heavy burden on us for years to come. He cites Francine Shapiro, the founder of the trauma therapy EMDR, which distinguishes between a Big-T trauma and a Small-T trauma.

A big-T trauma refers to drastic, bad experiences in childhood, such as abuse or violence. The small-T trauma, on the other hand, was for “minor injuries”, like pejorative sayings that we kept hearing over and over again. Here, above all, the repetition ensures that we are still influenced in later life. In addition, we can also suffer from a abandonment trauma – for example, if the mother had too little time for us.

Inside, it’s just like it used to be

Ever heard of the “inner child”? In him, all the past feelings and experiences from childhood slumber. According to Gauger, it is related to the inner parents – just as it was in our childhood. Even if we get along well with our parents today – when there used to be a lot of arguments in the past, the inner child and inner parents still have a difficult relationship. In order to bring our soul life back into balance, our inner part personalities must reconcile with each other.

This is how you make yourself comfortable with your inner parents

Andreas Gauger recommends the following exercise: Consider a parent as you saw him as a child and write him a letter. What bothers you, what bothers you? Pay attention to what feelings this causes in you.

After that, consider your parent from the adult perspective. How would you see the parent through the eyes of an adult? In what situation was your mother or father then? What personal experience did he or she have in childhood? What worries and fears have tormented him or her?

After you have done that, you can draw a conclusion. What feelings do you overlap with this parent? For example, do you have or have similar worries and fears? Now write the second letter to the parent and start with the words: ” Dear Papa / dear Mama, since the last letter I have realized that …”

And now?

This exercise is not about evaluating things or forgiving your mother or father. But only to recognize what your parents are or were for people. This often helps to let go of the inner parents and finally free themselves from their clutches.

What should you do with the letters now?

The letters are for you only. You can put them in a drawer and read them more often or burn them – whatever you are! The main thing is that you have a good feeling about it.

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