How did your birthright play out? Were you adequately loved, nourished and nurtured?
Perhaps you were abundantly loved, nourished and nurtured. Or, maybe you were not.
Either way, how you were raised affects how you navigate through the world and in your relationships.
At the most basic human level, every new baby entering the world has the innate claim to be fed, clothed and sheltered. Sadly, many don’t receive even those basic rights.
The next level of rights due to each child would be to be loved unconditionally, tenderly cared for in a timely fashion, and age-appropriately allowed to explore the world around them, so as to develop into who they are meant to be. The rights of freedom and the ability to speak your mind and share your thoughts would follow.
These inborn entitlements are the basic building blocks of a healthy human life, providing the space in which to dig in, grow and flourish.
Fortunate are those who enjoyed all these healthy states in early life. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they all grew up to be fine upstanding citizens, however statistically it would have been in their favour.
Then there are those of us who got the basics of life sustaining care, but were harmed by primary caregivers, or other people or circumstances in our early years.
It was Leo Tolstoy in his book Anna Karenina, who said, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Happy families are created by adults who are: emotionally mature; who know their boundaries and aren’t afraid to maintain them; who understand their values and live them consistently; and, who possess a healthy degree of self-esteem and confidence in themselves and their abilities.
On the other hand, unhappy families are often made up of emotionally immature adults whose own infantile and childhood needs were not adequately met. Sometimes unfortunate life circumstances can also contribute to family dysfunction, such as extended job loss, or the death of a spouse.
When a small child is born into a family made up of emotionally immature adults, it can be troubling. At best, the adults might commit to learning to grow and mature along with the child as it develops. At worst, the anger and frustrations of the adult could be, and often are, directed at the developing infant/child. Child abuse takes many forms: from the withholding of love and guidance; name-calling and other humiliating words; isolation from other family members or friends; and/or physical and sexual violations.
Many people are yearning for a better world. When, as a society, we can openly acknowledge that not everyone was raised in loving care, and we commit to providing both initial therapy and forward moving coaching for these individuals, then we will be creating that better world. Yes, there are many issues needing attention on our planet, however, nurturing healthy children to grow up and be healthy adults will make a huge difference in many other ways.
Cherish our children.