Because I faced adversity in childhood, including growing up in a home with violence where I didn’t feel or understand love, for a long time, I believed I had to EARN the love of my own children. I now know I don’t. And neither do you, if you, like me, held this belief.
The idea that as a parent, I or anyone else has to EARN the love of their child is false
It has taken me a number of years to be able to say, without question, that the idea that as a parent, I or anyone else has to EARN the love of their child is false. It is a LIE. But this negative belief affects so many; it causes so much pain.
If you, like me, faced adversity in childhood, odds are, this negative belief holds you back. And during difficult times, it can easily sneak back in, even after you’ve learned the TRUTH.
This LIE came flooding back to me recently.
This LIE, that I have to earn my children’s love, which I believed I had conquered, came flooding back to me recently – a reminder that we must constantly cultivate the TRUTH to prepare for trying moments that may occur unexpectedly. I have been battling it for the past six weeks – six weeks after my former wife met me in a diner and told me she was going to change the custody arrangement so that now, instead of being with my children half of the time, I would see them every other weekend and for one night a week from 5pm-8pm.
I got a court date scheduled for six weeks later. For those six weeks, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I lost ten pounds. I could not swallow. I could not eat. I got so sick physically that my doctor prescribed three different antibiotics, a flu medicine and finally resorted to cortical steroids to try and get me right. My fever was 102 to 103 for almost a week. I did not sleep. I went through four or five changes of clothes each night, because the sweat was pouring out of me.
But then on one of those nights, I was reminded of the TRUTH…
The one TRUTH that I have found to be absolute
I don’t know what brought this thought flooding back to me. Perhaps, it was because I would remind myself of this daily, the one TRUTH that I have found to be absolute: “ Only because of what I experienced am I able to uniquely, effortlessly feel the abundance of love my child naturally has for me.” Why? Well, because as an adult who faced adversity in childhood, our great gift through our children is that we get to experience that love that we were never able to feel from others as children, because we didn’t have the fully developed brain to understand and accept it.
Now we do. Now we can choose. I have chosen and so have millions of others. Some of their stories are in my book, INVINCIBLE. Perhaps you have a similar story? Feel free to share it in the comments below.
Read my recent Huffington Post article about how my childhood taught me the LIE that I have to earn my children’s love.