For many years I thought being positive was a process of denying my fears and resentments, the main obstacles for a creative flow, and replacing them with love and acceptance. The Law of Attraction is great stuff but I have found until I was first able to face my fears with bravery and challenge my resentments with honesty, they would keep coming back in a cycle of despair, keeping me from the abundance or creative flow I desired.
Love and acceptance require courage and understanding. They are not passive processes. Allowing love and acceptance, releasing fear and anger, sound so simple in the jargon of The Law of Attraction. For most of us, however, there requires a bit more work under the hood. To break the cycle of despair we must identify the source of the fear and resentment and attack it head on, with love and compassion, separating it from who we are, our identity, understanding what parts of it are within our control to change and what we must bravely accept. The is basic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
For me, I identified myself for many years as “a victim of child sexual abuse (CSA).” Later, after much work, I identified myself as “a survivor of CSA.” Never could I just pretend or deny I wasn’t any of the above, at least for long. It was not until I really looked squarely at the underlying fear and resentment connected with the event that I was able to find acceptance and bliss. After much CBT and journaling (I wrote a novel about it, for God’s sake), I realized I was pre-dispositioned for abuse. Long before the abuse, I believed I was damaged goods, creating an inevitability, a self-fulfilling prophesy, if you will, that I would set me up one day to be abused.
So one truth I finally had to accept was that I knew what I was doing. The other truth, which is the most important truth, of course, is that as a child, I was not given sufficient support by my caregivers to deal with this pre-disposition. As smart as I was, I simply was not equipped to understand my true value as a human being. This made me vulnerable, an easy target for grooming and CSA. The CSA was only the manifestation of my very low self-esteem. The burden of responsibility for creating a healthy self-esteem must not be placed fully on the child’s shoulders. That’s why we have parents and trained care-givers.
We talk about protecting our children from CSA. I believe, no matter what security precautions we take with our kids, if they don’t intrinsically value themselves, they will be at greater risk of suffering CSA at some point. Remember 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will suffer CSA. I believe allowing children to remain in the state of low self-esteem is the chief cause of CSA. Unfortunately, this fact is rarely discussed in CSA prevention materials.
The process of building a healthy self-esteem in kids is not rocket science. As parents we create opportunities for them to challenge themselves and let them know how proud we are of the effort they put in, not necessarily in the accomplishments themselves. It is not tied to our unconditional love for them, about which they are constantly reminded. This external locus eventually becomes internalized as they discover the rewards of confidence. It requires our full attention and dedication.
My point is this: if we don’t get to the heart of the fear and resentment holding us back, it will always come back to haunt us, no matter how many mantras or positive affirmations we give ourselves.
If you like/don’t like the ideas expressed in these blogs, I encourage you to comment. Also, you may want to get a copy of Point of Art – Second Edition, or download it today. Don’t forget to check out The Portrait – a painting video and The Power of Positive Painting, the original portrait painting video.