Early Attachment Determines How We Relate Today
We are hard wired to attach, be connected, and have relationships. No matter how much we get hurt in relationships, we still risk loving over and over. As infants we need to attach to our caregivers to thrive both physically and emotionally. Without a secure base and feeling seen and loved for who we are, our social emotional development starts to derail. To a large extent, our caretakers’ ability to provide an environment where we can attach and explore the world from a secure base, determines the quality of our adult relationships. Our ability to trust another, give and receive love, be intimate, and rely on others are shaped early in life. We take on behaviors to survive in and cope with an environment that don’t meet our needs. We can’t be our authentic selves. As children, these adaptive ways of behaving serve us well, but in adult relationships, these protective ways of relating get in our way of loving relationships.
To thrive in life, to be truly healthy, and happy we need other people. But a lot of us struggle in relationships. You may have issues in intimate relationships, in friendships, in your family of origin, or with authorities. Life is empty without close relationships, without somebody that has our back. You may try to fill the emptiness inside with comfort eating, sex, caretaking of others, staying in relationships that are unhealthy, substance abuse, or other compulsive behaviors.
None of that is going to get you lasting happiness. Only by reclaiming you, getting in touch with your real needs and meeting them, unburdening old ways of being and suppressed emotions, finding ways of expressing your essence in the world and learning how be in mature relationships built on trust and mutuality, will you be truly happy.