Experiences from childhood, events in which we created meanings about self and other, in our interactions with primary caregivers in particular, have the power to unconsciously shape our lives. Our core beliefs about who we are, what we are capable of, how we want life to be, and so on, were formed mostly in the formative years of childhood–and these meanings unknowingly guide our steps as we walk along our path in life.
Some do so continuously in positive ways, giving us stamina to overcome challenges, or encouragement to sustain our enthusiasm for expressing our talents and interests.
Other experiences affect us in negative ways, blocking our growth.
Often the impact of negative childhood experiences remains dormant until adulthood, when an intimate relationship seems to bring out some deeply painful aspect of ourselves, hidden deep inside.
Yet our most intimate relationships are often the ones that cause us the most pain, likely because they also offer the most fertile ground and opportunities, potentially, for us to consciously explore any unexamined beliefs or unresolved wounds from childhood and realize our own healing. We may uncover issues coming up of trust or control, fear of abandonment or engulfment, or perhaps we find ourselves instinctively reenacting the actions of a parent that we find distasteful, based on our current values. We may experience painful emotions and feelings that overwhelm or rob us of the energy and hope we need to make better choices. Regardless the challenge, we each have the power within us, as adults, to change, transform and heal ourselves at the deepest level.
What facilitates our healing?
1. It helps to start from a place of knowing, that: if we survived the formative years of childhood—which we would not have, had we not received some level of love and care, physical and emotional, from our primary caregivers—we are now, as adults, whole beings unto ourselves (despite the reality that we are social beings at heart).
Whereas this would have been an insurmountable task in childhood, with the wisdom and cognitive abilities of our adult self, we can learn to be the nurturing …