Everywhere I look I see signs of red and symbols of love. It made me start to wonder…if there is so much love available, then why are so many relationships in dire straits? A lot of unions are struggling.
Having lost their potency and vibrancy, couples are simply trudging on…just managing! I thought hard and deep and I noticed a trend from my Therapeutic Practice. I discovered that most people enter relationships with needs that stem from their early childhood. These needs manifest as behaviours in adults and until they are identified, confronted and conquered, they are likely to be an impediment in future relationships.
Most adults do not realize the impact their early childhood relationships and experiences have had on them. Sadly most people are still struggling with the consequences of their primal relationships with their parents. Where trust is broken in primal relationships it becomes so hard to trust. For instance, a girl-child that was disappointed by her father’s betrayal and abandonment may not realize that her capacity to trust men has been compromised. She may appear confident, self-assured and independent without realizing that the hurt little girl inside her is unable to trust her partner because her primal need for safety and protection had been jeopardized. On the other hand a young man who appears aggressive, brash and unable to express tenderness may simply be reacting to his mother’s voice from the past saying to him “Don’t you know that you are a boy? Boys don’t cry.” His primal need for affection and reassurance had also been compromised.
The word ‘primal’ comes from the Latin word ‘primus.’ It means first, primary, fundamental and basic. Without a doubt, this aptly describes our relationship with our parents and primary care-givers. Unwittingly, these childhood relationships are dragged into current relationships and without realizing it the emotional legacy of your very first love relationship intrudes unconsciously but yet powerfully on your present union.
From experience I know that parenting is a huge task. In fact I consider it to be a major upheaval. One day you are an individual working on/for just yourself and your self enhancement and suddenly a life is entrusted to you, to nurture, protect and provide for. This child must get your attention anytime they want it by simply yelling! Their entrance into your life suddenly becomes the trajectory of your physical, emotional and sometimes spiritual wellness and if you are female like me, your body shape and size, your sleeping pattern and your career path are vigorously affected too. Since each child is different, unique and peculiar, parenting is a learning process with every child.
I read an article a few days ago that was written by a young lady I had spoken with last year. She could not have put it better and with her kind permission I quote:
“As far as I was concerned, my parents had raised me to be a difficult and angry woman. It was their fault that I couldn’t hug them or say ‘I love you’ to my siblings. It was their fault that I couldn’t respond to criticism properly. It was their fault that I was emotionally broken. I blamed them for everything that was wrong with me, but now I understand my shortcomings were as much my fault as it was theirs. Our parents can be difficult, but as their children, we have to learn their triggers and respond with love. If we respond with anger… it takes us nowhere. Most of us have parents who have never let us express ourselves emotionally, and because of this, we grew up bottling our feelings. We have carried the shame of never being allowed to express ourselves into our adult relationships and friendships...I carried this same resentment towards my parents, but as I grew closer to God, in the past year, I realized I was living in darkness….”
During this period of love, we must endeavour to tidy up our primal relationships. This is crucial because it precipitates how well you thrive in your current or future relationships. Like my young friend I previously quoted wrote: “Forgiving your parents will not be an easy task; be prepared for frustrating moments and days where you want to scream at the top of your lungs until your voice breaks. But please know it is a decision you will never regret.”
And on behalf of every parent that has hurt or disappointed their children, I deeply apologize- most of us are still a work in progress. As you enjoy this season of love, instead of just focusing on romantic relationships, deal with the primal ones too. Don’t let them hold sway over you… forgive, release and receive!