If one was to engage in the grieving process, it could show that they have lost someone in their adult life. Then again, what it could illustrate is that their childhood was a time when their needs were rarely, if ever, met.
Consequently, one is going to be grieving a time in their life when they didn’t get the love and guidance that they desperately needed. It won’t matter how many years have passed since this time in their life as coming to terms with the fact that these needs won’t be met can be similar to coming to terms with the fact that a loved one won’t ever be coming back.
Frozen In Time
Up until this point in time, one may have done just about everything that they could to try to get their unmet childhood met. This is not to say that this would have been a conscious process, though.
Most likely, this would have taken place without them ever realising what was going on. One would then have been a grown adult, but they would have been behaving like a child that needed other people to fulfil certain developmental needs.
What may have taken place to wake them up is that they may have started reading books and/or had a number of conversations with a friend. Through taking this new information in and observing their own behaviour, it may have become clear that their adult self was not in control of their behaviour.
Another part of them would have been in control of their behaviour, with this part of them being more like a child than an adult. They would then have come to see that even though they were an adult and their childhood years were long behind them, the child that they once were still lives inside them.
A Different Agenda
This child part - or the child parts inside them as there will be more than one part – will want to receive all of the things that it didn’t receive all those years ago. Or to be more accurate, the child part will see life through the eyes of the child and will end up seeing others as parental figures.
Therefore, while a lot will have changed since one was a child; a big part of them will still see life in the same way. Now that they are an adult, they will have to grieve the needs that were not met by their parents/s.
Before one was aware of what was taking place, they may have looked towards others to give them unconditional love, acceptance and approval, amongst other things. These would have been things that their parent/s should have given them.
Now that they are an adult, these are not things that other adult can give to them. The only person who can give the child part of them unconditional anything is their adult self.
Many, Many Layers
Once one grieved something that they didn’t get as a child, they may find that it is only a matter of time before something else is brought to their attention to work through. Just like the normal grieving process, one can then feel better and then worse; it won’t be a linear process.
If they are not aware that this how it works, they can believe that they must be doing something wrong or that what they are doing is not working. In truth, they will be doing the right thing and what they are doing will be working.
A Marathon, Not a Sprint
What one will need to remember is that they most likely had year after year of not getting certain needs met. This would then have created many layers of pain inside them, and each of these layers will need to be worked through.
Taking this into account, these layers are not going to be worked through in a day, a weekend or a week. But, providing one stays with his process and doesn’t give up on themselves, their life will change.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.