Why We Had Support Groups …
SELF-PARENTING is a solitary process. One sits down, follows the session protocol for thirty minutes, and that’s it. Right? There is no need for anyone else to be there or to help guide the process. Right? You do your sessions everyday; you feel fantastic and life just gets better and better. Right?
Technically speaking, all of the above are true. But one thing the SELF-PARENTING Program found out very early was that encouragement from others could provide motivation. And for most people, daily sessions of Self-Parenting are just too difficult to sustain without an external support system. The forces of “reality” simply place too much pressure on a weak Inner Parent.
And let’s make no mistake about it. Not doing daily sessions is the fault of a weak Inner Parent. Whatever excuses or denials exist, it is the non-caring, negative Inner Parent who will not set aside at least thirty minutes for the most important person in his/her life, the Inner Child
So, paradoxically, the most effective route to a positive Self-Parenting style is to join a SELF-PARENTING Support Group for at least six months. This is the approximate amount of time it takes to truly integrate the practical principles of Self-Parenting into the “real world.”
A properly run SELF-PARENTING Support Group creates a group equity. The group energy helps to sustain the individuals in the group. This energy is created by committed members who practice their Self-Parenting sessions, attend meetings regularly, and pay their dues either financially or through service.
Commitment to a group begins with commitment to yourself. If a member doesn’t practice sessions, attend meetings, or pay dues, he or she drains energy from the group. Members who contribute their time and positive energy to the group sustain the SELF-PARENTING Program. The success of the group depends upon committed individuals following their membership roles:
- Practicing their daily Self-Parenting sessions
- Attending meeting regularly
- Paying dues or performing service
Support groups love, support, and nurture your growth. Every animal species needs care during its early stages of growth. Without maternal support the children of every species are susceptible to predators during the earliest stages of life.
In a similar manner, a young seedling may need support, perhaps extra watering, protection from the wind, or a carefully placed stick for it to grow. Once it has taken root, it is capable of surviving on its own under “normal” conditions. Many people starting the Self-Parenting process do not do so under “normal” conditions. In fact, they may have never experienced “normal” at all.
When beginning Self-Parenting sessions you give birth to a significant amount of emotional life, which is susceptible to early damage if not cared for correctly. This is why the session protocols outlined in Chapter Nine, although simple, are critically important to follow during the first 90 days.
Changing anything, even inadvertently, can be like forgetting to water a plant for a few days or having the stake fall to the ground. The hardiest plants will survive, but many more will not. You may not do it intentionally, but the damage is done nonetheless.
Here, unfortunately, is the bad news. I tried supporting outside Self-Parenting Support Groups. The ones I ran worked well, but I could never get anyone to run one properly without turning it into their own ego trip. I provided excellent materials (both to lay people and professionals) on starting a support group, but it just never happened.
Now that accessing the internet is a practical reality for most people, everything you need to get to Intermediate Practitioner Status is now on the website. If you make it to Intermediate, then consultations become more important as there are many pitfalls once you begin “climbing the mountain” to a positive self-parenting style.