Exercise of Imagining Ideal Parents
So settle into yourself and imagine yourself as a young child only in this scene imagine that you grew up in a family different from your family of origin but a set of parents ideally suited to you and your nature. And bring to mind the scene of them being with you in a way that it would lead to feeling absolutely secure in the attachment relationship. Absolutely secure in the attachment relationship. And since imagination creates new possibilities, you can shape and reshape the scene in any ways you want until it feels just right. In this scene notice particularly the ways that they're being with you that lead you to feel completely secure in the relationship.
Let the scene fade and bring to mind a second scene with these ideal parents being with you in a way that makes you feel completely safe and protected. These parents know how to provide you with a safe haven. They are fiercely protective but never over-protective. So imagine specifically the ways that them being with you would give you the sense of being completely safe and protected as a child. And when you imagine the details of the scene, notice the way they're being with you that leads you to feel so safe and so very safe and protected. Notice the effect that that has on your state of mind.
Let the scene fade and imagine another scene of yourself with these ideal parents. Imagine them being so carefully attuned to you, these parents are completely present. You know as you imagine it that they're really interested in everything that you do. They're interested in every change in your behavior. You can sense the ways that they track all the developmental changes you go through as a young child. They're so carefully attuned to you and interested in all these changes. But as you imagine this scene what's most important is you imagine it in such a way that they're carefully attuned not simply to your behaviour, but they're attuned to your internal state. These parents are constantly wondering out loud about what you feel, what motivates your behavior, they're interested in what you think and how you put together your world, so that you feel deeply seen and known by them. Imagine parents who are that carefully attuned to your internal state, not just your behavior. Notice the effect that that has on your state of mind.
Let the scene fade and now imagine that time as a young child when you were emotionally upset about something, but only this time you imagine that you grew up in a family different from your family of origin, again with these ideal parents. They see right away how upset you are and imagine that they respond in just the way that you most need. Notice how they approach you, the physical closeness that they offer to you, the comfort physically, the verbal reassurance. Imagining them comforting you in all the right ways. And notice the effect that that has on your state of mind.
Let the scene fade and imagine another scene with these ideal parents as a young child, and imagine them being with you in a way that they're absolutely open and expressive about their delight in everything that you do. These ideal parents are not subtle, they're consistently and openly expressive about their joy in everything that you discover. But more importantly, these ideal parents are openly expressive about their joy in your being. You know that you are a deep source of joy and everything you do in life brings them great pleasure. You can feel it when you're around them. And notice the effect that that has on your state of mind, to have parents that are that openly expressive about their delight of everything that you do, but more importantly their delight in your very being. You are the deepest source of joy and satisfaction to them in so many ways and you can feel it. Notice the effect that that has on your state of mind and particularly notice the effect it has on your esteem.
Let the scene fade and imagine another scene with these ideal parents in a time that you're exploring and discovering something new. And you have their absolute support. These parents are openly supportive to you. They encourage you to explore and discover in your own ways. They want you to bring out your best and strongest sense of self. They're not threatened by that, they have no agendas for you, they just want you to discover all that you can be and be your strongest and best sense of self. So imagine in this scene that you're exploring and discovering something new with their complete and absolute support bringing out the best and strongest sense of yourself that you can be. Notice the effect that that has on your state of mind. Imagine what it might have been like, what your sense of self might have turned out to be like had you grown up getting that kind of support at every step of your development. Your best, strongest and most unique sense of self.
Lastly there was something that you needed as a child growing up that repeatedly over and over again you never quite got. Bring that feeling to mind now, it's a very familiar feeling to you. There's something that you needed over and over again that you never quite got and there was a very familiar way that you came to feel about that. Bring that feeling to mind so you can let yourself feel it right now. Then imagine the ideal parents step into the scene and they see right away what you're feeling and they respond to you in just the way that you most need, just the right way, and begin that process of healing.
Let the scene fade, notice the effect that that had on your state of mind. You can orient yourself again, I'll count from five to one and you can fully awaken yourself, five, four, three, two, one, fully awake and settle with the experience.
So the idea we call positive remapping, if you take the five great functions of attachment which are safety & protection, attunement, soothing & comfort, expressed delight, and support & encouragement for self-development. Not everybody gets all five of those equally in their original family of origin, but the idea is to remap it using imagination because imagination creates new possibilities. And if you keep shaping and reshaping it until it feels just right with your imagination over time you develop a new internal positive stable map you've been operating out of that map and that the old model has become irrelevant. And then people get better and they start selecting more healthy relationships and expect to be treated well in those relationships.