In this series, we will be covering common triggers that emerge in a parent/child dynamic and what those triggers are actually revealing so parents can take steps to heal the associated wounds.
What is a trigger? By definition, it is simply the CAUSE before effect. Just like stress can trigger a rash, your child can trigger an emotional response from you.
Now, if we stick to the stress rash analogy, we know that stress isn’t the root of the issue; something also triggered the stress. Let’s say you’re late completing a project at work, which has caused your stress levels to spike, resulting in a rash.
Most people would conclude that if you simply plan better with work projects, it will reduce your stress and therefore cure the rash.
But guess what, the next project comes, and the rash returns. This is because the ROOT pattern has not been addressed, and this is often a band-aid tactic we use when we learn our triggers.
You may be great at identifying your wounds, but it keeps you on a hamster wheel of trauma if you can’t heal them.
In part two of this series, we address the root pattern of perfectionism.
First, let’s talk about the depth and complexities of perfectionist conditioning. By definition, it is the refusal of any standard below perfection. Perfectionists are raised with strict parameters and shown that only success, happiness, and power can come when you reach these thresholds.
When we think of people with this wound, we assume that it’s because they were raised by controlling parents, and yes, that’s true – but what we need to understand is that this is conditioning that spans back to ancient dynasties.
This programming was created when people were groomed to take over the throne and lead military forces. It meant to be thrusted onto a pedestal even when you did not ask for it and told that this is your destiny. If you think this is your first and only life, think again.
Even if you do not have parents with this conditioning, you could be someone who enforces it on themselves, and you always wondered why. It’s because we bring karma with us into each life until we heal the wound and rewire. We can go countless lives learning the same lesson.
When I used to do past life regression readings, I would always present a life first without the client sharing any information about themselves. I would explain their life, who they were, and the main life lesson they were struggling with in that life. Without a doubt, every single time, they said to me, “That sounds like me right now.”
But it is not your destiny to suffer – this is not your mission – do you understand?
Another thing to correlate here is that perfectionists equate anything outside of
their preconceived notions to be a failure, which means at the core,
perfectionists are deathly afraid of failing.
How this wound can be triggered by interactions with our child(ren):
- When you can’t get your child to eat a balanced diet
- When your kid is “delayed” in milestones
- When your child has a meltdown in public spaces
Emotions (effect) that can emerge from these triggers are:
- Mom guilt
- On edge (tenseness in the body)
Perfectionism can also be a mild form known as the tendency to “over structure,” which means everything has a specific process and an exact formula. Anything less than these practices is not acceptable. When I became a mom for the first time, every process, belief, and plan was shattered.
One of the most prominent areas in which my perfectionist/over structure pattern was triggered was my journey with breastfeeding. My son had a lip tie and tongue tie, making it almost impossible to breastfeed. I also was vegan and refused to give my son formula.
After two months of excruciating pain from feeding him anyway and a surgery that resolved the problem, I was then slapped in the face with a divorce, and as all mamas know, stress means plummeting breastmilk production.
And still, I fought kicking and screaming to make it work – but perfectionism conditioning convinces you that you are standing true to your values and being strong and courageous in those efforts, but you’re actually just resisting.
Resistance is an addiction to suffering. I will say that again – Resistance is an addiction to suffering.
Because I was being faced with letting go over and over again, I had no choice but to listen, and here are a few things I learned along the way that helped me heal and rewire this pattering:
Failure is necessary in order to master something.
A big part of releasing healing this wound is recognizing it for what it is, and that means redefining the word failure.
Instead of associating failure with giving up, with not being successful in your endeavors, why aren’t they lessons that are necessary to grow?
When I screw up a recipe, I go for it again, and the end product is even better than I could have imagined because I learned so much during the process.
Failure is part of the journey; it’s being human. It’s saying “You know what, this is not working for me, and I need to let go here.” It’s to accept every choice you make, including the one made in perfectionism and the one that cuts the cycle.
Instead of punishing yourself, nurture yourself. Fill your cup instead of judging yourself for letting it empty.
It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you do.
Another big AHA moment for me – there is no right or wrong way to do something. Ever. The very idea that there are countless ways to achieve something alone created a physical expansion in my chest. It released a constriction of breathing caused by the pressure I felt to squeeze through a tight alleyway and I finally noticed there are entire streets that lead me to the same point.
Your child is likely already showing you this because they know – our children are advanced souls. You will presume that they are rebellious or challenging, but what they are really doing you is grabbing your face with two hands and saying there is more than one way, open your eyes.
You can pivot anytime.
Ego can be a pest- and it thrives off of pride.
Sometimes, we feel too much dignity to change our minds, even when we have learned new information that changes our perception. There’s this level of flesh that gets revealed when we need to OWN a pivot, and that’s scary to some.
That fear presents itself as pride, which is a defense mechanism. It tells the world, “This is what I have always believed, it’s who I am.” When your heart is yearning to say, “This is what I believed with the information that I had, and I am ready to shed this perception because a new one has presented itself, and it aligns with who I am now.”
But in order to own your pivot, you also need to release the concept that you’re “quitting” something. There is no such thing. You either want to do it, or you don’t, and no linear time commitment will change that.
It’s time to cure your addiction to suffering, own your pivot, happily quit, and proudly tell people, “I’ve changed.”
If you’ve gotten this far and are feeling a lot come up for you, I invite you to use the following mantra:
I am ready to open the birdcage
I understand that I can fly
I am not required to return
Because my wings are for the sky
If you enjoyed part two of this series, please stay tuned for the six more installments. To stay up to date on our articles, subscribe here to receive our weekly round-up.