Excerpt About Parenting

Supporting the Soul's Potential

Furthermore, the soul also requires a great deal of firm but loving support for her to learn about her potential, how to recognize and use it, and how to exercise, develop, and expand it. She needs guidance, instruction, modeling, and setting of appropriate boundaries by confident and attentive caretakers. Without such support it is difficult for her to securely integrate her unfolding potential. (See The Point of Existence, chapter 25, for a more extensive discussion of support and the soul’s need for it.) But when the environment, specifically the primary caretakers who are usually the parents, provides her with adequate mirroring and support her arising potential she can recognize it, value it, and integrate it into her sense of identity. She grows up with the implicit and confident sense that this is part of her. This secure establishment of her potential in her everyday experience is the actualization of it in her development. She develops by integrating her potential, as she learns, expands, and matures. This happens through the soul's identity being structured and patterned by her potential. In other words, the actualization of her potential is inextricably linked with the development in her identity of the ability to include the elements of this potential. Difficulties and issues in the development of identity are reflected in narcissistic disturbances and conflicts: intense and inappropriate need for mirroring, incessant and insatiable hunger for support, exaggerated or grandiose sense of self and its importance and capacities, and intense need for admiration and attention combined with lack of empathy for others and disregard for their concerns. This is because the difficulties in its development have left this identity weak, brittle, vulnerable, and easily disintegrated. So it constantly needs shoring up through an exaggerated, self-centered need for mirroring and support.

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