The origins of lifelenses

Usually, the prescription for your life-lenses is established in your childhood. People don't come into the world seeing themselves as inadequate, undeserving, entitled, or perfectionis-tic. Rather, they learn these patterns through repeated experiences. Life-lenses emerge from abuse, abandonment, betrayal, criticism, natural disasters, loss, rejection, and other emotionally powerful events.

Some life-lenses even develop from well-meaning parents who unwittingly go overboard (probably because of their own life-lenses). For example, some parents worry so much that they overprotect their children, who subsequently feel vulnerable. Other parents overindulge their children in the name of love and caring, and their kids may end up feeling entitled.

On the road to understanding and changing your life-lenses, it helps to reflect on what caused you to acquire the lenses you look through in the first place. When you understand these origins, you can release the notion that you're crazy, weird, or messed up. Self-forgiveness releases energy that you can use for grinding new lenses for better vision.

Hannah struggles with depression and anxiety. She takes the Problematic Life-Lenses Questionnaire shown in Worksheet 7-1 and identifies the life-lenses of intimacy-avoidant and entitled. She also realizes that she's perfectionistic but flips to feeling inadequate when she makes a mistake. Hannah reflects on her childhood for possible causes of her life-lenses. She then completes the Childhood Origins of Life-Lenses exercise shown in Worksheet 7-8 and reflects on her findings in Worksheet 7-9.

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