I posted last week about the incredible movie – “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” A documentary about the beautiful, rich, nuanced life of Fred Rogers – Mr. Rogers. I highly recommend watching this movie if you get the chance. The man was a Bodhisattva, a Saint, a truly Christ-like individual! (And I don’t say those things lightly.)
One part from the movie bugged me. And not because of what Fred Rogers did or said, but rather what the FoxNews pundits (or their ignorant, fear-mongering writers / producers told them to say). And yes, I mention the controversial “News” company. But what I am about to talk about crosses many lines throughout society – FoxNews just happened to show this mindset in its stark, raw form.
If you search “Double Bind” in my blog menu bar on the right, you should discover older posts where I discuss what a double bind is. Go back and look at that if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about.
What bugged me in particular is that they said that Mr. Rogers had been telling people that they are perfect just the way they are, and by doing so, it led an entire generation of people to feel entitled and to be lazy. Here is why this is a problem and it is just plain wrong:
Sometimes, by words said explicitly or by implied meaning, parents will say to their little kids, “You are only worth what you can produce.” This is harsh, but when parents haven’t resolved their own unmet needs, then guess what? They turn around and are not able to meet those same needs in their own children. What need am I referring to?
Babies and children of all ages (adults too for that matter), need to feel unconditionally loved for who they are. We need unconditional loving-kindness from caretakers and parents. We need protection. We need safety. We need to feel loved and lovable.
So those news “pundits” saying that Mr. Rogers message of tolerance and acceptance and loving our neighbor leading to an entire generation feeling entitled and therefore lazy… just Wow! Those same writers, news anchors, producers are all suffering from a lack of having this need me. They feel that they are only worth what they can produce. They are only worth the amount of zeroes in their annual salary.
The remedy to this particular double bind is to say to our little parts – the little fetuses, the new borns, and the small babies / children parts of ourselves: “I love you for who you are, not for what you do.” That is the truth. It penetrates to the core of the difficulty and dissolves it – if you want, if you allow it, and especially if you work with someone skillful and trained in working with pre- and perinatal psychology or developmental needs meeting.
If we needed to here this good mother message but we heard the opposite instead, then resistance will come up when we say this to ourselves. It won’t feel real, it won’t feel true, it will be hard to believe it. This is why we must work with someone else. In order to resolve and repair these early double binds, we have to get support from a skillful, ethical, professional individual or group. Process workshops are good – but we should do some personal growth work (counseling, Somatic Experiencing, process-oriented bodywork, etc) before diving into these deep pools of resource.
There are many examples of double binds in our society today, the media displays them for all to see. And until we resolve and repair and heal these wounded parts of ourselves, we might even believe those double binds to be reality. It is all we know. 😦
But there is a way to work through these unmet needs, to come back to our hearts and to rest down in ease and grace.
Thank you for reading!