Lessons on Self-Love & Entitlement from The Neighborhood
Recently, I had the immense pleasure of leading a couple Inner Child healing groups. In two separate weeks, we established an inner Nurturing Mother and Supportive Father - archetypal forces that represent the healthiest expression of parents to support their inner Little One. These helpers included all the most supportive elements of their actual parents, in addition to other qualities they identified their Inner Child needed.
In the midst of that process, I was delighted to learn that Wont You Be My Neighbor, a documentary about Fred Rogers, would be coming out right around the completion of our group.
It had been decades since I’d thought about Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood; and yet, the memory of his gentle, loving and accepting manner came flooding back into my heart. Fred Rogers, it turns out, is someone my Inner Child sees as Supportive Father; as safe and healthy Masculine. So, I decided to organize a field trip to see the documentary, in celebration our groups’ journey together.
(Definitely go see the movie yourself. And take tissue, cause the tears are pretty much inevitable.)
When I sat down to write this blog, I thought I wanted to do a listicle (that’s hip lingo for an article comprised of a list) of valuable life lessons we can still learn from Mr. Rogers, as adults.
Then I realized that just one of those lessons deserves the whole blog. So here goes.
You are special just the way you are.
Now, as a hypnotherapist, my business is in change work, technically speaking. I have often described it as alchemy, through which you transform your inner pain into that beautiful byproduct of gold.
People come to me because they want to change. They want to lose weight. They want to stop smoking. They want to heal their childhood trauma. The want to feel a sense of purpose. They want to be less negative, more motivated, less fearful, more confident… less… more… less… more. Certainly, they want to be different from who they are when they came to their first session.
The longer I do this work though, the more I realize that it’s not really about alchemy at all.
It’s about Remembering.
Because you were never the heavy, dense lead; you were never the pain, the addiction, the suffering.
At your core, you have always been the gold.
You are special just the way you are. You’ve simply forgotten.
I was shocked and kind of amused to hear that Fred Rogers has actually received some backlash for his consistent message to children that they are special. Some even credit him for contributing to a generation of entitled children who have grown into entitled Millennial adults.
Now, entitlement is a real issue, folks. Every single one of us should make the effort to look into our hearts and explore the places where we feel entitled.
The hard truth is, you’re not entitled to your dream job or the perfect relationship. You’re not entitled to financial abundance. You’re not entitled to anyone else’s time, energy, body, etc. The list of things to which nobody is entitled is expansive.
You ARE, however, entitled to put in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual work (oh, that joyful burden!) that it takes to stretch towards the things you desire. And to have healthy expectations to reap the benefits of the work that you’ve put it.
The above truth has literally nothing to do with Mr. Roger’s message. When he said, “I like you just the way you are,” he was never suggesting that you could just be yourself and the universe should go out of it’s way to provide you what you want, just because you exist.
He was reminding us to look deeply into ourselves and acknowledge that we are deserving of love; not because of anything we have done or accomplished. But simply because we exist. Because love is a vital ingredient for the growth of a human, the way that sunlight and water are necessary for a plant to grow and bear fruit.
Mr. Rogers was reminding us that we don’t need to work for love, because we ARE love.
You are Love. You are special not for anything you do, but because you are an embodiment of Love that is expressing itself uniquely in this world.
You are Love. There is nothing you can do or not do that changes that fact, at a core level. There are experiences in life that may have buried that truth far and deep, away from your conscious awareness. But it’s there. And it has always been there. The only thing that changes is your acknowledgement and embodiment of that truth.
There are days you forget, and return to striving for that which you already are.
There are days you forget, and behave in unloving ways towards yourself and others.
But you are still Love.
And of course, just because you are Love, doesn't mean that your thoughts, attitudes, behaviors and ways of moving through the world are perfect or loving. You may still long to have a more balanced relationship with food, money, relationships, your thoughts, etc.
And that’s where I’m happy to help. To support you in remembering your core essence of Love, and to make changes from THAT place. Because personal transformation rooted in love will always flower; whereas, change rooted from self-hatred can only ever bear sour fruit, if any at all.
So go ahead, transform yourself. But while you’re at it, remember to love yourself, just the way you are, right now as well.