Our childhood experiences pretty much determine our self-image, perceptions of reality, emotions reactions and thus, in essence, our reality.
If we really want to be free from these self-limiting influences we will have to discover them and transform them. Such work requires an experienced guide, but this list may help you get started.
The first step is to make a list of the childhood experiences which may have developed into mistaken perceptions of reality which cause us today to create lives of lesser health, happiness, fulfillment and harmony.
Possible Childhood Experiences
Following you will find a list of possible childhood experiences. Perhaps they may not have occurred exactly as described here, but may have been similar.
Also, they mind may reminded of something else.
These childhood experiences may have created a mistaken, inferior image of ourselves, others and life in general.
Wherever the questions refer to your parents or other persons of your childhood, think not only of the parents, but also of grandparents, stepmothers, stepfathers, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters, cousins, teachers and other people existed in your life as a child and up to the age of 18.
Chose from these and any other experiences those, which you believe, may have caused you as a child to develop false beliefs or emotions around some issues.
For each experience, you will want to discover:
a. What emotions you felt then as a child?
b. What beliefs about yourself, others and life were created in your mind then as a child?
c. What were your unfulfilled needs at that time?
1. Was there someone who got angry with you, scolded you, rejected you or accused you? Who and when?
2. Were there people who fought among themselves or rejected or hurt one another? Who and when?
3. Have you ever experienced the feeling of abandonment (Perhaps because of the death or separation of parents)? Were you ever left alone, or felt that others didn?t understand you (or were distant ? aloof), or that there was no support? When? By whom? How?
4. Did you ever feel the need for more affection, tenderness or expression of love? From whom and when (during which periods)?
5. Were there persons in your environment who were often ill or who spoke often of illness? Who and when?
6. Did you ever experience the feeling of humiliation in the presence of others or in connection with others? In which cases?
7. Were you ever compared to others as to whether you were less or more capable or worthy? To whom, in which instances, and in connection with which abilities or character traits?
8. Have you ever lost a loved one? Who and when?
9. Did anyone ever approach you sexually without your consent?
10. Were you ever aware of your parents or anyone else making love? Who and when? How did you feel and what did you think?
11. Did your parents ever state that you were the only reason they continued staying together and that that had been a big sacrifice on their part? Or, did they ever tell you they have sacrificed a great deal for your sake, and that you are indebted to them? Who? When? About what matters? What exactly do you owe them?
12. Did they ever accuse you of being the cause for their unhappiness or illness or problems? Who accused you and about what exactly? What did they mean that it was your fault, what does this fact mean to you? According to them what should you have done?
13. Did they ever tell you that you are not going to achieve anything in your life, that you are lazy or incapable, or dumb? Who, when and concerning what matters?
14. Were you ever caught playing with your genitals (alone or with others) and did anyone make you feel guilty for that? Who? When? What was their message?
15. Did they often speak about guilt and punishment (either from some person (parent, police or God)? Who? When? About what types of guilt and what type of punishment?
16. Did any teacher ever make you feel humiliated in front of other children? When? How? Concerning what?
17. In the company of other children, did you ever feel rejection or inferiority? By whom, and inferior by what criteria?
18. Were you ever told that you were responsible for your siblings or for others in general, and that whatever happens to them is your responsibility? Who did? About whom? Concerning what matters were you responsible?
19. Were you ever made to understand by some way (negative or positive) that, in order for someone to be acceptable and lovable, one must:
a. Be better than the others?
b. Be first at everything?
c. Be perfect, without faults?
d. Be intelligent and clever?
e. Be handsome / beautiful?
f. Have perfect order and cleanliness at home?
g. Have great success in his/her love life?
h. Have financial and social success?
i. Be accepted by everyone — him?
j. Be active in many ways? Achieve many things?
k. Always satisfy the needs of others?
l. Never say “no” to others?
m. Not to express his/her needs?
20. Did they ever make you understand in some way that you are incapable of thinking, making decisions or achieving things by yourself, and that you will always need to listen to advice and depend on others? Who passed on this message to you? About what matters are you supposedly “incapable” of making decisions or handling properly?
21. Did you ever have role models (parents, older siblings or others) who were, or still are, very dynamic and competent so that you felt:
a. The need to be like them?
b. The need to prove your worth; to be like them, to reach or even surpass these models?
c. Despair, self-rejection, abandonment of effort, perhaps self-destructive (possibly subconscious) tendencies because you believed you could never measure up to them?
22. Has there ever been in your environment someone with unexpected, unpredictable, nervous or even schizophrenic behavior (possibly alcoholic or drug addict) so that you might not know what to expect from him or her? Has there been violence (physical or psychological)? By whom and what was the behavior like?
23. Have you felt rejection towards or shameful about one or both of your parents? Why?
24. Did you ever make the discovery that one of your parents has had an extra-marital affair? When and under what circumstances? How did you feel about that?
25. Did they speak to you often about “God the punisher”?
26. Did you ever feel that they told you one thing but did another, that there was no consistency between their words and actions, that they had a double standard, one for themselves and another for the others, or that they were hypocrites, false and not true? Who and when? Concerning what topics?
27. Upon what was your parents? security based? a) on money?, b) on the opinion of others? c) on education? d) on personal power? e) on the unity of the family? f) on property? g) on one?s spouse? h) other?
28. Were you a spoiled child that always had whatever it wanted and to whom no one ever refused a favor? If so, what effect did that have on you?
29. Did they suppress your freedom of movement and expression? Did they force you to do things you did not want to do? (study, visits, dress). Did they forbid you to do things you wanted to do? What were you forced to do or prevented from doing?
30. (For Women) Did they in some way make you understand that since you are a girl:
a. You are worth less than a man?
b. You are not safe without a man?
c. Sex is dirty (a sin)?
d. In order to be socially acceptable you must get married?
e. You are less competent than men are?
f. Your only mission is to serve others?
g. You must not express your needs, your feelings or your opinions?
h. You must submit yourself to your husband?
i. You must be beautiful to be acceptable?
31. (For Men) Did they in some way make you understand that since you are a boy:
a. You must be strong?
b. You must be superior, more competent, stronger and more intelligent than your wife?
c. Your worth is measured according to your sexual prowess?
d. Your worth is measured according to your professional (financial) success?
d. You must compare yourself with other men?
Having made this list, move on the part 2 in order to continue this work.