Finding the lessons and gifts from a challenging childhood

From time to time I have clients who want to understand why their childhood in this life was so challenging.  And in fact, for any of us who found our childhoods to be difficult or less than supportive of our sense of well-being and confidence in life, it is an important area to explore.  In fact, it is similar to the process we use in past life work to understand what strengths were developed and being drawn upon now, as a result of challenges in prior lifetimes.

You can do this with your own childhood.  Take some time to write out your key experiences and feelings about your upbringing.  The negative impact of these are probably already well known to you.  Now it's time to focus on the lessons learned and positive personality traits developed as a result of the challenging experiences.  Allow yourself to ponder this and write them down as well.

Here's a personal example.  I grew up in a family that was loving but had some big family secrets (suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, codependency) that weren't talked about.  As a shy and sensitive child I really didn't feel seen or understood, and mainly gained attention by excelling at school.  When I look at the positive traits I developed as a result, I find:  seeking a non-human/spiritual source for my foundation and sense of self; trusting my intuition and holding to my truth despite what things looked like on the surface; self-reliance; the value of genuine connection and honesty; empathy for others who are challenged with depression and low self-esteem; the value of learning and achievement.  All of these have stood me in good stead and have contributed significantly to my life's work.

What positive qualities can you find as a result of childhood challenges?  



Jess Riffle