While some peoples early years were a time when they were given the support that they needed to develop into a well-adjusted adult, there are others that don’t have the same experience. This could mean that they were supported from time to time, or it may have been something that rarely, if ever, took place.
As a result of this, it can mean that the way they experience life as an adult is going to be radically different. Now, this doesn’t mean that what happens during the beginning of someone’s life will always define what they will be like as an adult.
Black and White
If this was the case, then the only way for one to be a functional adult would be for them to have a functional childhood. And if one was a functional adult, it would be because they had a functional childhood.
However, there are people who didn’t have a good upbringing and yet they have been able to turn their life around. Just as there are people who have problems even though they have a good upbringing.
What this comes down to is that it is not only what happens to someone during their early years that will define the kind of person they will become; there is also how they respond to what takes place. This can be why one person can be treated badly during their early years and gradually rise above it, and another can continue to be defined by it.
On the other side, one person can be treated well during their early years and turn out fine and another can turn out completely different. It could then be said that what took place during the beginning of their life had very little effect on them, and that they were born his way.
More Than Meets the Eye
If someone was to ask them about their early years, they may say that it was fine and that there were no problems. Along with this, their caregivers may also have a similar outlook.
There is the chance that this is the true, but at the same time there could be more to it. It could come down to the fact that one is out of touch with what did take place during this time, and their caregivers could be in the same position.
An Important Factor
Still, although there are different factors involved when it comes to why someone is the way they are as an adult, it is clear to see that what took place during their early years is not something that can overlooked. If one is brought up in a loving environment, they are generally going to be a far better off than if this wasn’t the case.
Through being given the support that they needed during this time to develop, there is a strong chance that they will be in touch with themselves. This will then allow them to express their true-self, and they are likely to lead a fulfilling existence.
When one is in touch with themselves, it is going to mean that they are aware of their needs and feelings, amongst other things. These aspects will then define how they behave and the kinds of things that they want to achieve during their time on this planet.
This is not to say that their true-self is something that is fixed, as it will change as they change. Therefore, what one sees as their true-self at one point in time is not necessarily going to be how they see it at another.
This is to be expected, as the kinds of things that one wants to achieve as a teenager are unlikely to be what they want to achieve when they are in their forties, for instance. Nevertheless, there is the chance that one will maintain certain values throughout their life.
And through having this connection, it will be normal for them to feel as though they are on the right track in life. The people they spend their time with will know who they are and there will be no need for one to wear a mask.
When one wasn’t given the support that they needed during the beginning of their life, it can mean that they will be out of touch with their true-self. As a way to handle what took place, they may have had no other choice than to create a false-self.
The self that they had to create can then end up being seen as who they are, and this is going to make their life a lot harder than it needs to be. And while this will cause one to suffer, it doesn’t mean that they can simply ‘let go’ and be themselves.
If their false-self allows them to receive approval, they might not feel as though they need to change. The feedback that they get from others can then regulate the pain that they experience through doing what other people want.
But even if one doesn’t receive a lot of approval from others, they might feel as though it isn’t safe enough for them to change. Thus, in order for them to survive, it will then be important for them to go along to get along.
As The Years Pass
However, as times goes by one could no longer receive the approval they used to receive, or they may get to the point where the pain is unbearable. This could then move them in a new direction and they could soon start to embrace their true-self.
For example, one’s appearance could change and this can then encourage them to look within themselves as opposed to being caught up with what other people think about them. Or perhaps one could get to the stage in their life where they no longer have the energy to avoid themselves like they did in the past.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter when one finds their true-self; what matters is that they are taking the steps to find it. This is a process that can take place with the assistance of a therapist and/or a support group.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 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.