It's human nature (ego/self-preservation) to place blame on everyone else instead of holding ourselves accountable for the experiences we may be having. Instead of setting proper boundaries that honor our authentic feelings and our inner child we blame others for making us feel guilty if we don't keep them happy.
What's really happening is we're abandoning ourselves when we don't hold ourselves accountable for enforcing our boundaries.
Emotionally unavailable parenting isn't just something our parents may have done to us. We may be doing the same parenting to ourselves and our inner child.
Who Is Your Inner Child?
Your inner child is the younger version of you, your voice, that's always still there experiencing your everyday life in your adult body. Your inner voice and feelings didn't just go away because you "grew up" in your physical body. Often times we still have some emotional and mental growth to do, so it's best to not mistake physical, outward growth with internal growth.
What Is Parenting?
Parenting is more than just providing yourself or a loved one with basic survival needs. That's only one aspect of parenting responsibilities. True parenting is teaching yourself and your child to feel safe in fostering relationships and how to sustain those connections.
We are social creatures. Newborn babies will literally die without social interaction from another source within a certain time frame. At the heart of parenting is teaching ourselves and our children to form healthy relationship bonds with themselves as well as with others.
How to Know If You're Abandoning Your Inner Child
The fastest way to know without a shadow of a doubt you're self-abandoning is when you lack boundaries and/or you're too afraid to speak up about them. This usually results in a cycle of beating yourself up for not standing up for yourself, guilt-tripping if you semi-stand up for yourself, and just overall all not feeling good about yourself regardless of what you do.
When you're not afraid to set boundaries, and more importantly, enforce said boundaries then you feel good about yourself and you allow the other adults to be responsible for their emotions and reactions. You stop carrying the responsibility of worrying about how others will feel or what they will think when you stick to your boundaries. This is quite a liberating feeling!
Real quick, here are 3 tips on how to stop abandoning yourself:
Healing will always be the foundational basis for everything, because it connects you to your authentic self, which is the source all your future decisions will flow from, including your boundaries! Healing will provide you the clarity you need to set boundaries and enforce them without feeling guilty about it!
#2 Set Boundaries
Now, this can be super hard for you, especially if you've never set boundaries before and grew up in an environment that conditioned you to be a people-pleaser and have no boundaries. Society has taught you that having boundaries means disappointing the people who "love" you and who you're "supposed" to never disappoint. The reality is boundaries are based on your authentic self and needs and are meant to protect you and your peace of mind. Think about it this way, are you going to be happier in relationships where you can be your authentic self and your boundaries are respected? Or are you going to stay miserable hiding your true feelings and feeling guilty if you don't support people who don't think twice about taking from you without returning the favor?
#3 Make Yourself A Priority
My final tip on ways to avoid self-abandonment is going to be to stop putting yourself last. It is not noble to treat yourself as an option, because you are teaching others to treat you like an option. The #1 person who should be showing up for you and cheering you on isn't your partner/spouse, your parents, your circle of family, and friends. It's YOU! No matter who else in life that's abandoning you, you gotta be there for yourself regardless. You do this by making your healing a priority so you have the blueprint and future road map to keep yourself a priority. Being a priority isn't selfish at all. It's simply teaching yourself and others that you matter and while you're here on this earth, how you will be treated should they be blessed to be considered a part of your circle.
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