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The Legacy of One's Parents: Worksheet

 

Our relationships with our parents have usually been the most important influence in determining our core attitudes, beliefs and values. These may be internalizations of the influence of our parents or reactions to that influence.

 

 

THE LEGACY OF ONE'S FATHER

 

What expectations did your father have for you regarding how you should behave or conduct yourself, i.e. how you should be?

 

 

What hopes did your father have for you with regard to your success or fulfillment in life?

 

 

What good qualities did your father embody and represent to you?

 

 

What negative qualities, values or influences did your father represent to you?

 

 

What, would you say, was or is your father's attitude to the world?

 

 

What, would you say, were or are your father's assumptions about the world that his life and attitudes were based on?

 

 

What is your attitude toward your father, your way of dealing with him and his influence on you in relation to the above factors?

 

 

What has been your father's legacy in your life with regard to your beliefs and attitudes?

 

 

What did you want or need from your father but didn't get sufficiently?

 

 

How could you now give yourself or find within yourself these very things?

 

 

THE LEGACY OF ONE'S MOTHER

 

What expectations did your mother have for you regarding how you should behave or conduct yourself, i.e. how you should be?

 

 

What hopes did your mother have for you with regard to your success or fulfillment in life?

 

 

What good qualities did your mother embody and represent to you?

 

 

What negative qualities, values or influences did your mother represent to you?

 

 

What, would you say, was or is your mother's attitude to the world?

 

 

What, would you say, were or are your mother's assumptions about the world that her life and attitudes were based on?

 

 

What is your attitude toward your mother, your way of dealing with her and her influence on you in relation to the above factors?

 

 

What has been your mother's legacy in your life with regard to your beliefs and attitudes?

 

 

What did you want or need from your mother but didn't get sufficiently?

 

 

How could you now give yourself or find within yourself these very things?

 

 

CLARIFYING ONE'S CORE CONFLICT

 

Central to the many internal conflicts (based on false images of oneself and the reality one lives in) is a fundamental dualistic conflict that is manifested in one's differing attitudes to one's parents. It is then repeated in one's various involvements and relationships in life.

 

How is your attitude toward your father (or the attitude that you have adopted that has been influenced by him) in conflict with your attitude toward your mother (or your attitude influenced by her)?

 

 

On what false premises or assumptions might this conflict be based?

 

 

Is there a viscous cycle or pattern of self-reinforcing experiences that result from the attitudes connected to this conflict?

 

 

How does this basic conflict engendered by your way of relating to your parents carry over in your general attitudes to life in its challenges and its opportunities?

 

 

How has this conflict played out in your relationships?

 

 

What new understanding or perspective might resolve this conflict?