think women should be cared for and protected by men; others believe
women should be equals, including the responsibility for earning a
living and fighting in wars. Nations and individuals have "isms" they
will die for: communism, capitalism, superior racism, religious
fundamentalism, etc. None of the above ideas is supported by
scientific evidence that it will produce greater fairness or happiness;
the ideas are merely theories substantiated only by wishful thinking
and myths--unsupported beliefs. These cultural-political-economic-
social beliefs, plus 100's more, are subtly infused into our lifestyle.
Thus, to understand ourselves, we can by this method uncover and
reassess the life-directing myths-values-brainwashings we have
Three methods are lumped together here--recognizing the inner
child of the past, analysis of life position and life script, and
understanding the power of myths--because they illuminate our
present difficulties by shedding light on our past.
To explore the hidden connections between your childhood and
your current adjustment and needs. To find your "inner child"
of the past.
To help you get a clearer view of your self-concept and inner
critic, the roles you play and want others to play with you, your
natural and adaptive child, and, thus, your life position and life
To identify how myths influence your conception of the purpose
of life and your views of your role within the family, at work,
STEP ONE: Discover the inner child from your past by remembering
how your parents treated you.
Missildine (1963) published an interesting book about the impact of
childhood experiences on our adult lives. He suggested that we all
have an "inner child," reflecting the atmosphere in our childhood
home, and an adult part, which tries to forget the past and live only in
the present. The inner child influences almost everything we do and
feel as adults; it can't be discounted and just forgotten. His book is
filled with case histories showing how early experiences intrude on our
work, relationships, emotions, adjustment and self-concept as adults.
See Table 9.2 for several illustrations. Missildine felt that these early
experiences were remembered quite well, often vividly. They are,
therefore, not exactly unconscious factors. On the other hand, many
people minimize the influence of these powerful forces, so their
destructive effects are often overlooked. For example, adult children of
alcoholics can clearly remember the drunken mother's or father's
embarrassing behavior and insults, but they frequently do not realize
the connection between their childhood and their current high anxiety