By Judith E. Lipson, M.A., LPC
Many of the inaccuracies of your life were learned during childhood and especially the middle school years. I know it was true for me, and I have spoken to many pre-teens living it, adolescents learning that they can let it go, and adults who didn’t realize how many misrepresentations came from their childhoods and middle school/junior high years who are now learning to recover from these falsehoods by reframing their Truth.
Having had those experiences has helped to shape the type of work that I do. In fact, one of the most rewarding educational experiences I had was to teach classes of middle school students what to do if they encountered bullies. I taught them empowerment, how to use their voice, and to utilize physical, verbal, and energetic boundaries. (If you would like to learn these tips, read my article: Empower Your Child. All the concepts in this article can also be utilized by teens and adults.)
But let’s come back to those inaccuracies. What do I mean by that? Pay attention to the messages that you say within your own mind about yourself in any given day. It’s amazing how most of us would never say those things to another person, especially someone that we care about, yet we speak them to ourselves – in the silence of our minds – every single day. I’m suggesting that you pay attention to those messages, so that you might confront them with a healthier and more accurate viewpoint.
Here’s how it tends to happen: You started your life connected to ‘all that is’ without preconceived notions about others or yourself. In the beginning, there was pure joy and love. By your preschool years parents and teachers began the socializing process with messages like: ‘take turns’, ‘sit still’, ‘be quiet’, ‘don’t do that’, ‘be polite’, etc. Unfortunately, you may have interpreted this to mean that you were fundamentally ‘not ok’.
If you struggled in elementary school academically or socially you may have internalized the ‘not okay’ message further, even if no one was judging or comparing. Subsequently, middle-school [Read more…]