Our early relationships are particularly formative. It is in early years that our brains form structures that, absent a change causing event, subconsciously, serve as reference points for relating to self and others throughout life.
Parents are often provided what-to-do-or-not-do lists to promote healthy child development, less often is the focus on the quality of emotional presence parents can bring, at any given time, to interactions with their children. In this post, we discuss two of five states of being, or “BE’S,” that parents can use as guidelines to nurture healthy relating capacity in children.
Because our mind-body refers to these early structures automatically, how we parent makes a difference. When we were children, for example, our parents’ brains subconsciously set parameters in what emotions we “should’ or “shouldn’t” feel or express, according to their own taboos and belief systems.
Many of us feel locked inside closets of fear, perhaps unrecognized. We learned to enter these places to protect ourselves whenever we felt fearful or scared as small children. As our brain strengthens behaviors we repeat, and imprints them as easily accessible strategies, the part of our mind that operates all the systems of our body, the subconscious, can activate these automatically. Our protective habits are also given priority status as they associated with ensuring our survival.
Protection from what?
Feeling our fears. We avoid what is our destiny, an essential aspect of become whole and happy human beings.
Our two greatest fears are intimacy fears.
Our deepest fears, fear of inadequacy, rejection, abandonment, and the like, have to do with our yearnings to matter as unique beings for the contributions we make to life around us and meaningfully connect in key relationships. They are core intimacy fears.
The longer we ignore or stuff painful feelings, the harder it is to work through them, and the more unpredictable our behaviors and life outcomes can be. Rather than a putting-out-fires approach, you can power up your life by learning to healthfully process painful feelings, and that means identifying, feeling and understanding your feelings in a way that helps you make informed actions in dealing with them, as they surface.
The very thought of doing this may bring up feelings of resistance. Your response may be, “Why bring up old stuff?” You likely feel “comfortable” with current ways you stay “in control” of life around you, i.e., by staying busy, avoiding conflict or shaming people who get upset, among others. These old defense strategies, at least superficially, can bring us quick-fix relief, thus, seem reliable, proven ways of dealing with stressors.
It makes sense that you would not want to feel or deal with painful emotions. After all, human beings are wired to move away from pain, and drawn instead to what feels pleasant and comfortable.
Never give up hope or think it is too late for someone you love and care about to change in healing directions.
Let go of trying to change them, for certain, and you may need to make the tough choice to let go of the relationship rather than watch someone you love engage in harming behaviors — but always keep your hope alive.
To never give up means to remain consciously active in hoping:
The pursuit of happiness can be described as both a deep concern and obsession of human beings throughout time. This quest to discover how to live our best, most fulfilling lives is a phenomenon that cuts across cultures. The fever has intensified in the last decade thanks in part to a growing body of research that links happiness to benefits ranging from greater health, happier relationships, boosts to creativity, and even higher earnings.
Physiologically, happiness is an emotional state, a mix of feelings produced by some combination of feel-good hormones. It’s much more than an occasional emotional burst of dopamine, however.
It’s a process, it’s work and it’s a balancing act.
Recent research reveals that happiness has a paradoxical nature. A recent publication, What Happy People Do Differently by Drs. Todd B. Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener summarized some surprising findings emerging from studies of happiness. It appears the habits of those who are happiest include regular doses of activities that produce feelings of discomfort, doubt, uncertainty.
A recent study published in the journal Psychological Science found that partners’ early childhood attachment styles impacted their ability to recover from conflict in their adult couple relationships. Partners with secure attachment styles in childhood tended to be more resilient and recover faster.
The research studied the early attachment styles of 73 participants from birth and, over a two year span, measured their conflict recovery styles, emotional wellbeing, relationship satisfaction and their relationship stability. The ability of partners to rebound after conflict seems to depend on each partner’s personal attachment style as an infant.
That’s huge. For one, this tells us how key the formation of healthy relationships is to our wellbeing throughout life.
What is Attachment?
Attachment refers to the quality of our first emotional connection to our primary caregivers, more often, the relating pattern between the child and mother.
The concept of power is widely misunderstood, yet how we conceptualize “power” — our own and others’ – shapes our innermost values, and thus the neurochemical processes that decide the direction of our behaviors, relationships and life.
As human beings, it is our nature to attribute meanings to our world through the use of language and symbols. These meanings in turn shape our lives, especially when they are hidden from view.
Our view of “power” forms a core belief system.
Several top psychological theorists of the 20th century, such as Alfred Adler, Rollo May, William Glaser, Abraham Maslow, Virginia Satir, Victor Frankl, Carl Rogers, William Glaser, among others, describe power as a healthy inborn striving.