IS THE BEGINNING
OF ALL WISDOM
Self-Knowledge Is The Beginning Of All Wisdom.
Special attention goes to the psychological aspect:
When you ask yourself the question of 'who you want to be', to yourself and to the people close to you, it involves the way you perceive and react to the world around you. How you react to the people closest to you depends a lot on your past, especially your childhood. If it’s all happy memories, well great! But what if it’s not?
Don’t let yourself be worn down in a spiral of self-pity. It will only render you powerless. Instead remember: If trauma can be passed down from generation to generation, so can healing, and this healing can start here.
We cultivate ourselves and our future, and no one else!
When they say ‘it runs in the family’, well… it is here where it runs out.
Knowledge is power, so here we go:
From before we were born we established a psychological connection with our mother. From the moment we were born we did the same with our father and/or other caregivers. Still, for most of us in our earlier years, our mother was the most important. This psychological connection can be described as an emotional relationship which includes comfort, care and pleasure and, at the very core, our survival depended on it. All of this shapes how we interpret and react to the world around us as adults. It is called our attachment style. Early childhood experiences shape our attachment style. Studies found that the most important aspect in the development of an attachment style is the responsiveness of the mother to the needs of her baby during the first year of that child's life.
Don’t get tunnel vision here 😊, these studies are old…. They stem from a time where the mother was the primary caretaker and housewife, and the father went out working (mainstream narrative of the 1950’s and 60’s). Later on, the same studies were done with fathers as well. And yes indeed, also fathers, if involved in the care-taking of course, have that influence on the baby. But these later studies didn’t get the same attention…
As an adult we can have 1 of the 4 main attachment styles, or a mixture of some. These are the 4 types:
Let’s dig in…
Secure attachment style:
People with a secure attachment style have a general positive view of themselves and of others. They are trusting, independent but close, and open to expressing affection with confidence. In relationships they feel comfortable with intimacy and with independence. They can easily adapt to change and can ‘handle’ (regulate) both their positive and negative emotions.
People can develop this attachment style when they had warm and responsive interactions with their parents or caretakers.
Anxious attachment style:
People with an anxious attachment style have a negative view of themselves and a positive view of others. They need reassurance from their partners, seek intense closeness and intimacy, and mostly need it more quickly than their partner does. In relationships they often feel that others don’t want the same closeness as they want, that others don’t value them as they value the others. They feel uncomfortable when not being in a relationship.
People with this attachment style can get overly dependent on their partner or others close to them. They often blame themselves when others don’t show the desired affection and they doubt their worth as an individual. Regulating or ‘coping with’ emotions is often difficult and they can get easily overwhelmed. They can be really jealous or suspicious of their partner because they fear being abandoned.
An anxious attachment style will develop when a parent is sometimes nurturing and responsive to the child’s needs, and at other times they are emotional unavailable and it looks like they don’t care. The child will be confused, not knowing what to expect from their parent. As a result the child will become clingy and act desperate. The child learns that the best way to get their needs met with this unpredictable parent, is to cling to them.
Dismissive-avoidant attachment style:
People with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style have a positive view of themselves and a negative view of others. They do not feel comfortable with emotions and intimacy. When they feel hurt or rejected they have the tendency to create more space, they pull away from the others close to them. It is important to them to feel independent. They prefer that others depend on them instead of the other way around.
People with this attachment style feel vulnerable when they think they are to close with someone. They often have a very defensive attitude, they hide and suppress their feelings. A close relationship isn’t something they want or need, and is viewed as a negative thing compared with themselves. They view healthy emotional closeness as ‘neediness’.
A dismissive-avoidant attachment style will develop when a parent is emotionally unavailable or unresponsive for a great deal of the time. The child and it’s needs are ignored. The parent even shows rejection when the child shows it is hurt, feels sick or is crying. Independence is encouraged even at an age when it is not appropriate. The child learns not to seek closeness to the parent when it is scared, stressed or in pain.
Fearful-avoidant attachment style:
People with a fearful-avoidant attachment style have an unstable view of themselves and of others. Mostly they view themselves as unworthy of affection from their partner or others close to them. Although they really want close relationships, they don’t trust the intentions of others, as if there’s always a hidden agenda. They expect that eventually they will get hurt. They have a mixture of wanting connection and at the same time pushing away those close to them.
People with losses or trauma in their past, such as sexual abuse, tend to develop this attachment style. They do not feel comfortable being close with someone and they suppress their feelings. Expressing affection makes them feel uncomfortable. People with a fearful-avoidant attachment style can have serious difficulties forming relationships because the old feelings of fear and the avoidance patterns get triggered.
A fearful-avoidant attachment style will develop when a parent is neglective and/or abusive towards the child. The parent is feared by the child because of the harm they cause. The child still looks to their parent for basic needs, but also is expecting mistreatment at every moment and they can’t get away. The child tries to do everything to avoid the parent and is always on edge and distressed.
Remember when I said earlier that it is HERE where it runs out? That place is indeed HERE and NOW.
Try to figure out what kind of attachment style you have and look at how you respond to your child(ren) and/or partner. Then you make the necessary changes. Not if… not when… not maybe… but NOW.
Remember: If you know where you’re coming from, you know where you’re going.
Repeat after me: It ran in my family, until it ran into me.
And we will take it even further.
What was hurt in a relationship (e.g. with a parent) has to heal in a relationship (e.g. with a partner).
This means that when we are not aware of what was hurt in our past, we will recreate the same situation until it is resolved. Nature will always develop towards a homeostasis, a way to balance out inequality and outlying energies (what a trauma actually is).
Research shows that we as humans are subconsciously drawn to what is familiar. For those of us that have an insecure attachment style (Anxious, Dismissive-avoidant or Fearful-avoidant) because of past trauma, this can become dangerous territory. We women tend to choose a romantic partner that is very similar to our father. Especially someone who acts like our father the way we perceived and experienced him as a child (between 3 and 7 years old). Whether we have a relationship with a woman or a man, it doesn’t matter. So it is very important to look at this childhood relationship and come to terms with any possible trauma that happened or issues that originated there.
We’ve just briefly touched the subject of attachment here. A lot of information is available on the internet. You can dive in as deep as you like. You’ll re-emerge with insight and understanding about yourself and others close to you. Happy diving 😊.