"The child feels he must perform or do well to earn a parent's love." BRB p. 30
For many of us, we had to perform appropriately to get any feeling of love or acceptance as children. But conditional love was the only love, if any, that we received. Many times the conditions were as dysfunctional as the love, and often they changed from day to day. We heard people talk of unconditional love, but many of us didn't think that it really existed.
In ACA, when we listen to the voices in our heads that tell us we're not good enough, we understand this is our inner critic. It's no longer our parent's voice, but our own, repeating the negative words spoken to us as children. But how did this happen? We weren't going to be like our parents. But here we are telling ourselves the very words that cut us like a knife when we were vulnerable children.
Once we see the harm we are doing to ourselves and know why it's happening, the ACA program helps us replace negative words with positive affirmations. We can give ourselves the unconditional love that was denied us as children. We don't have to please anyone to get it. The cycle of pain is ending.
We are now free to face life with a positive frame of mind, getting ready to give the blessing of unconditional love to others. On this day I give myself unconditional love and acceptance. In doing so, I will then truly be able to accept and love others.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 228
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