Why we can’t always get what we want and some suggestions to help.
About 6 months ago I attended a mainstream neurobiological course in London that opened the door to my understanding as to why we struggle sometimes to get what we want. You might find it interesting.
As infants, traumatic happenings did happen to us during our development from 0 to at least 3 yrs of age that we all experienced. Despite being loved by our parents, where traumatising us would have been furthest from their minds, false beliefs, ignorance, conditioning and their emotional state would have helped to create this. So, for example, being conditioned to being quiet and subdued got you approval from your parents as children, but the chances are it’s not going to make you the life and soul of the party when you grow up!
Because our brains weren’t ‘on line’ before the age of 2 we aren’t, in most cases, able to access these experiences of what happened. Regardless of who you are, this was probably the most traumatic time of your life, even though, according to our parents, ‘nothing bad happened.’ Ways have now been discovered to recall that period and uncover what we as infants perceived at times as situations that were unbearable and dissipating them (taking the force and energy out of them). So what was unbearable? To find out and help you understand this more, watch my video on www.whatmakesyoutick.org on the HOME page which helps to explain this.
The reality is that we were shaped into who we are now because it was too unsafe to stay the person we were born as. Perhaps this quote will make it clearer:
As an infant, you are little else but presence – natural being. Spend a few minutes with a baby and you feel it. Whether energetic or quiet, solid or sweet, that presence is palpable. Gradually, you lose that unmistakeable quality as you and those around you become more focused on what you look like, how you behave, and what you say and do than on the fact of your being. A.H. Almaas
Being ‘shaped’ means we lost this presence, this essence, and simultaneously lost many life force particles becoming who we are now. (Just to clarify – our presence is unique – we are not all born the same). So, being an infant and being shut in a room away from our mother, for example, can be a trauma of unbearable pain, simply because at that young age our brains are not wired to think, ‘Oh, she’s in the living room and will be back soon’. We just can’t do that. The terror we experienced would be the equivalent of, say, being attacked and raped in a dark alley if we were an adult.
But it isn’t just these ‘one off’s’ like the above that create the problems. The more our essence and presence is not attuned to by our moms, the more traumatic life on a daily basis becomes. To understand this better go to youtube and search for ‘strange situation’ or ‘Mary Ainsworth’ to help you. Interestingly this was researched in the 1950s.
To clarify ‘attuned’, it’s like twiddling the knob on a radio until we ‘pick up’ the presenter loud and clear. Similarly if we are attuned to our infant we ‘pick up’ what he/she needs and consequently they continue to feel ‘seen’.
Not being attuned to really doesn’t feel good. To help you get the idea, can you remember when someone in recent times has failed to understand you to the point where you feel totally unsupported, unseen and unheard and how you felt because of that?
Infants can’t speak so mothers have to be attuned. Naturally no mother is ever going to get it completely right but the more she does the more her child remains him or herself i.e. remains in essence or in presence.
If you watched the video on Youtube (Strange situation) you will have seen the consequences of good and poor attunement. Good attunement allows us to live more in the present.
So, let me leave you with this question: If we can keep our presence, our essence, through those formative years from 0 to 3 what do you think the chances are of getting what we want in life?
Happy pondering!! I’ll take this further when I get a chance.