Even if someone’s early years were a time when their developmental needs were rarely if ever met, it doesn’t mean that they have well and truly put this stage of their life behind them. Nonetheless, there is the chance that they have completely forgotten about this stage of their life.
Or to be more accurate, their conscious mind may have no recollection of what took place during their early years. Their unconscious mind/body, on the other hand, won’t have lost touch with what took place.
On one level, then, what took place will be over and they will now be an adult but, on another level, the past will be very much with them. The pain that they experienced by rarely getting their needs met will be held inside them.
Thanks to the defences that their conscious mind has in place, this pain is seldom going to enter their conscious awareness. But, while this part of them won’t be aware of what is going on in another part of their being, this pain will still influence their life.
For example, they could spend a lot of time do-ing and very little time be-ing. This could mean that they are very goal orientated and spend most of their life doing what they can to move forward.
Due to being this way, there is the chance that they will be seen as being very successful and a lot of people could admire them. Once they have achieved something, though, they could soon be onto the next thing.
Stuck On a Treadmill
This will stop them from being able to bathe in the satisfaction of having achieved something and embracing the moment. Before they had achieved something, a semi-conscious part of them may have believed that it would have allowed them to feel different but, as is usually the case, it might not have had much of an effect.
Focusing on the next goal will then be another way for them to finally change how they feel. They could carry on behaving in this way until they have some kind of breakdown and can no longer continue.
If they were asked why they are so driven and are, essentially, unable to sit still and to surrender to life, they could say something like – life is to be lived and being successful is better than being a failure. Or they could say that they simply enjoy living in this way and that it makes them feel good.
If they were to take a break and have some time off, this could be a time when they will feel restless and even angry. This will give them the need to go back to what they were doing as soon as they can.
When it comes to their relationships, they might not have many close friends; in general, the people in their life could be more like associates. If they are in an intimate relationship, they might not be very close to their partner.
Alternatively, they could be single and have had a number of relationships that were not very fulfilling. In each of these previous relationships, they might not have been able to form a very deep bond.
Behind their need to achieve and be successful will be the part of them that desperately wants to be loved. This part of them – what can be seen as a child part - will be looking for the love that they missed out on during their early years.
It won’t matter that this stage of their life is over and these needs will never be met as this part of them will hope that they will be met. Yet, as this will be taking place outside of their conscious awareness, they won’t be able to do anything about it.
One can then believe that they are choosing to behave in this way; when in reality, they will be being controlled by a hidden part of themselves. And as their needs were rarely met during their early years, it may have caused them to disconnect from their need to be loved.
Consequently, they will be driven to receive the love that they missed out on as a child but they won’t be consciously aware of the fact that they want to be loved. To use an analogy; it will be like they are walking towards the sea but walking to the sea won’t be on their mind.
But, not only cant these needs be met by another adult, they are also likely to fear receiving love. They will then be reaching out for something with one hand and pushing it away with the other.
This is because they wouldn’t have been able to bond with their caregivers and to form a healthy attachment to them as they were not given the attuned care that they needed and were likely to have been smothered, and thus, overwhelmed by their care. Having these experiences would have also caused them to feel ashamed of themselves and their needs, which will play a part in why they have been indirectly trying to receive love.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.