Most people view relationships as being outside of self. The problem with this is all relationships begin with us not with others. We must develop an effective relationship with self before we can extend out to connecting with others. We had a good relationship with self when we were born. In 24,999 out of 25,000 births the relationship with self was compromised at birth or by the time we were four years old. The major conflict started with mother. (We are not blaming mother, she did the best she could working under the basic dysfunctional relationship with herself she inherited from her mother. She just happens to be the person you identified with as your primary care giver in the first five years of your life.)

Functional relationships do not happen very often. More than likely your mother did not have an effective relationship with self or her husband. Unfortunately your relationship with self began to break down shortly after birth. She probably was not able to bond with you at birth either. 95% of the time you had a traumatic birth experience because the doctors either do not want to recognize birth without violence or they are ignorant there is a better more loving way to bring a baby into this world.

So where are we in finding the right path in this jungle of dysfunctional behavior patterns? Mother did not know what love was so how could she demonstrate this to you? Along with all the other rejection feelings you may have had plus feeling mother was withholding love from you, your relationship with self began to break down. It deteriorated into self rejection feeling not accepted rather than self acceptance. The more you tried to get love and recognition from mother, the more you felt rejected because she became irritated then became angry because she could not control your behavior. As a result you became angry at her for rejecting your need for love and recognition. When you realized that to push for love was getting you nowhere accept more rejection you gave up and backed down in most cases. You finally gave up by the time you were four years old. So, by four years of age you decided that mother was right and you did not know what love was. At this point any concentrated form of attention was interpreted as love because you wanted recognition and acceptance.

As a result you grew up thinking love was acceptance in any form. Hearing all the different definitions of love in the movies, on TV and music you began to accept love was external so you used your body to get love and acceptance and recognition. Did you ever wonder why so many young girls get in trouble with sex? Many times they accepted sexual relationships as being love. Girls became misdirected thinking they had to have attractive bodies to be acceptable and get recognition. As a result we find many have bulimia and anorexia eating disorders. Others who can not reduce their weight go into self rejection and depression. Many men will not even try to approach relationships for fear of rejection. They live a solitary life or become workaholics. It is a sad story when you realize most people are functioning under false beliefs. I seen reports of young girls are asking for plastic surgery to increase the size of their breasts at fourteen years old.

Relationships with self must be to the point where you can accept the seven qualities of love and make them work for yourself. This means that you have to allow yourself to validate yourself. Most people are looking for and trying to get outside validation to make themselves feel all right about them selves. If others see me as all right then I must be all right. One the outward signs if this taking over and commandeering conversations or over talking others by raising your voice to stop them from speaking. Our mind will do this if we do not feel all right about ourselves. Then it will make the assumption if people allow me to do this then I am acknowledged and being accepted. One of the major challenges we have in communication is incongruent messages. If we are working from a place of not feeling good about ourselves we will send this message out what I call meta-communication. It is a communication our mind sends out that is nonverbal. Most people may not know they are picking up the message yet they will act on it without knowing what is causing them to take or make a decision to do something. We must clear the incongruent messages our mind is sending out if we expect to get acceptance and validation. It may take some work to delete all the files.

If your parents had an effective relationship with themselves and each other then there is a possibility they have could helped you build an effective relationship with yourself. If you were the exception who had parents that either came from a functional family or they recognized the mistakes their parents made then you may have the opportunity to grow up in a functional family. If your parents recognized the conflicts which caused them to be imprinted with negative behavior or you choose to stop the vicious circle then you may understand the process of reparenting. If your parents were able to recognize this viscous circle of handing off their parents dysfunctional relationship to their children you were fortunate to have parents with vision and awareness. As you can see from many examples it does not guarantee you will have successful relationships unless you have cleared all the skeletons in your closet.

At this point what you start to recognize is that most people play roles in their life to meet their needs. One of the major roles people play is Father/Daughter and Mother/Son. As you recover your lost self and grow up again you can see how you may have fell into that role. Partnerships in these roles fall apart as one partner begins to see they do not want to play that role any longer. If both Partners can grow up that is great but it usually does not happen. On the other hand many times partners break up with out ever finding out why the partnership did not work. They go out looking for a new partner, yet they find the same person with different cloths and a different name but with the same behavior patterns. Since they did not explore the reasons why the first one did not work they will end up in and ill fated partnership again which will fall apart due to not evaluating the situation which caused the breakup in the beginning. Everybody has different experiences, yet they are all similar in nature. Our mind is a very complex computer. It will make decisions for us until we take control back. Most of the time, the decisions are not what we would do if we had control. This is why I say most people have similar experiences as everybody has the same mind set that makes all the same decisions until we get in control of our mind set and behavior patterns.

To get to these programs we have to go through our minds files like peeling an onion. Each layer will reveal another layer below it. When we peel most of them off then we begin to take control of our life. As we move into more control we can empower ourselves to work from a point of power rather than fear. Once we have understood and been able to apply the concepts of the qualities of love to ourselves then we have to begin by applying them in our relationships with other people. It is almost amazing how people will respond to us when we have a congruent message coming from our own mind. As we remove all the behavior patterns that caused us to act out in the need for control we find that we do not need control any longer since nobody is threatening us any longer. It was all a perceived threat not a real threat. We find we can cooperate with others with no need to be in control. As we move into this new space of comfort we find that we begin to release stress. There really is not any stress there are only stressful people. When you do not react to the stress it does not affect you. As you move from the place of neediness you begin to demand that people treat you in a different way. It is not like becoming pushy an outwardly demanding respect you just begin to avoid people who are not operating in your reality. It is almost like you view the situation and if it does not meet your needs you drop it and say next. There is no need to make an issue out of it. If the shoe does not fit discard it. You are now becoming more comfortable in your life because nothing is driving you for acceptance and validation. It fits better with no awkwardness. You do not have to play roles to get acceptance. You have a lot more energy because you are not fighting with yourself to play a role to fit in.

In reparenting ourselves we discover all the imprinted programs which we received from our parents which set up the roles we play. So we get to the point of asking ourselves. "Whose life are we living? A replay of our parents or the life we choose to live." Usually we find it sure is not the life we thought we were living. The Native American "said you can not understand my life unless you have walked in my moccasins for a month"

Now that we have grown up we can take our power back, take responsibility and start on the path to a new life. The choice is yours are you ready for peace, happiness, harmony, joy, unconditional love and abundance in your life? There area lot of bridges to cross and many boulders to push out of the path, yet I know you can do if you apply yourself to the task. It can be a smooth transition or a very long complicated ordeal if you chose to make it this way. It all depends on your willingness to let go of the past. All it takes is the ability to forgive and accept your caregivers who wrote programs into your data base. Many times they did it without knowing what they were doing. Now that you have released them you are living your life.

Learn more about relationships at my website.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Art Martin has been working with people to help them reparent themselves and grow up again for 25 years. His new Book from his parenting series, "ReParenting Yourself", was published March 2009.