As much as we would like to, we cannot avoid certain indisputable facts of life: we will have to pay taxes, we will get older, we will most likely gain a few pounds, and we will always be connected to our childhood. Sigmund Freud was right, we are, indeed, creatures of our past; affected more by our formative years (first five to six years of life) than by recent events and circumstances. Although genes play a significant role in determining our adult selves, the manner in which we were cared for as a child is integrally connected to our adult mental health. Whether we embrace our unique childhood history, or if we try to mute, forget or even deny it, there is no way from refuting its impact on our lives.
The experiential landscape of our childhoods directly impacts our future adult relationships. Specifically, the manner in which we were parented during the first five or six years of our lives, our formative years, is directly connected to the quality of our adult relationships. If you were fortunate, you may have had a childhood that was absent of major trauma, abuse, deprivation or neglect. As one of the fortunate ones, you would have had parents who made mistakes, but who also unconditionally loved and cared for you. Just by being yourself, despite your imperfections, you would have proved to your parents that all babies are perfect and the gift of life is sacred. You’re healthy but not perfect parents would have been intrinsically motivated to foster your personal and emotional growth, not because they had to, but because they believed you deserved it! The only requirement to receive your parents’ love and nurturing was to just be your genuine self – just to be. Consequently, you would have become a part of a multigenerational pattern of emotionally healthy children; you would have become a balanced and emotionally healthy adult. If you would decide to have children, you would perpetuate the positive parenting “karma” by raising your own emotionally healthy child.