When we find ourselves around people that represent a familiar and painful dynamic from the past, it's an opportunity for us to see what we couldn't see before.

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On this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about making work, a business, money, co-workers, romantic partners, friends, something, the boss of us, so much so that it’s a surrogate parent.

I explain:

  • Why feelings of inadequacy that had crept up on me around being my own boss, flagged up to me that work and even money had become my surrogate parents
  • How we get into a cycle of measuring how well we’re performing with our surrogate parents by whether we like the outcomes, in turn, letting this dictate our happiness and also how adequate we feel, feeding this inadequate parent equals inadequate child mentality
  • Why making people and things into surrogate parents where we’re striving to be ‘enough’ or to get ‘more’ represents, ‘I’m not being enough for you to be enough for me‘, and ‘I’m not being enough for you to give me more‘.
  • Why what seem like the ‘rigours’ of, for example, a job, business or relationship along with internal and external expectations, can symbolise structure that looks like the past or structure that we never had–we might follow the so-called rules to the letter to be OK and look for people within the structure to affirm this or, we might resist the structure due to its unfamiliarity
  • Why a work environment can be particularly triggering because the job, boss and your co-workers can end up replicating a dynamic like parents and siblings or even a school environment
  • Why when we keep coming up against issues, we’re being invited to see what we couldn’t see before
  • How concerns like, Am I liked?, Am I being mean?, Am I doing it right [to get what I want]?, What will it take for them to give me safety and security?, and How can I control uncertainty and the unexpected?, are flags that we’re giving our power away and taking ourselves out of alignment
  • Questions we can ask ourselves including:
    • Which areas of my life bring up panic, grasping, comparison, feelings of resentment, inadequacy, helplessness, powerlessness, and ‘outsider’ feelings?
    • Where am I replicating the familiarity of the home dynamic? If it feels familiar and painful or even discomforting, it’s a call to wake up.
    • Where am I trying to plug a gap?
    • Where am I trying to prove a point or right the wrongs of the past?

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