“This Be The Verse”
BY PHILIP LARKIN
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
This famous poem was written in 1971 by the English poet Philip Larkin.
Most parents of course have great intentions for their children, however there is truth to be found in Larkin’s profound (and profane) words when it comes to the negative influence parents can sometimes have on their children.
My own experience of providing therapy to people of all ages and walks of life has shown me that many come with deep awareness of the emotional (and occasional physical) pain experienced at the hands of their parents. And with that awareness also comes hope that they can come to terms with the pain by moving on from perceived fault and even forgiving past generations as they heal themselves.
And with the release of self- judgement is the opportunity to focus on other areas of their lives that they want to improve, such as growing confidence to be better public speakers for example.
Because by letting go of their parents’ past put downs, they are free to step-up and be themselves. How great is it to let go of that fear – as a therapist it is a wonderful thing to witness. And the first step to achieving this goal is the strength to be vulnerable this can have a positive knock-on effect in all other areas of their lives.
We are after all the masters of our own destiny, and it matters not what others think of us. The writer and performer John Paul Flintoff’s words ring true.
Only by getting in front of people often enough – in person and online – have I learned that I have no control over what they think of me.
We have no power to control what others think of us. But we do have the ability to tame our thoughts, release old judgements and put in place coping strategies to fall back on.
Combined with the power of the neuroplastic mind, hypnotherapy is a key that can help us let go these past learned beliefs and learn new things that make us stronger.
Georgina Delamain is a counsellor and clinical hypnotherapist with over 25 years experience working with adults and young people in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. She is now working at St. Kilda Stables, Melbourne on Thursdays and on line the rest of the week.