A third variation to the main theme of Not Good Enough is the belief that “we weren’t/aren’t loved enough or aren’t lovable enough.”
This belief is based on our using other people’s behavior as the measurement of love. We can hold parents and others to a higher standard than their awareness allows them to express.
Some parents and grandparents thought love would spoil a child, make them soft or selfish and not make them “tough enough” to succeed in a harsh world.
When we realize that we are taught in two fundamental ways—how to do it and how not to do it—we can understand the value we got from both teaching methods. When we get value, we can stop resisting the experience and use the value-energy for our own creative purposes.
Our parents expressed their love according to two factors:
- How or if they internalized expressions of love in their own lives; and
- Their awareness of their roles to help provide:
- Growth opportunities;
- Nutrition and nourishment on all levels;
- Healing of the energetic and physical bumps and bruises of life;
- Protection of our expanding sense of Identity and physical body;
- Fulfillment of our needs, not necessarily all our wants;
- The opportunities to be useful and constructive which adults call work;
- Survival factors such as food, shelter, clothing, etc.
What is difficult for us to understand is that the quality and quantity of love expressed to us by others had almost nothing to do with us as individuals despite the child-belief that EVERYTHING IS ABOUT US. No, it really isn’t.
Making the distinction that our parents’ and others’ behaviors are expressions about them, not us, can set us free from the grip of the Not Good Enough belief.