When we are children we have some core emotional needs. This includes being SAFE, LOVED and having BOUNDARIES. When a child feels safe they see the world as a safe place. There is some predictability. Adults are able to regulate their emotions. There isn’t any violence, sexual abuse, emotional neglect etc. So what if we didn’t feel safe as children? How does this impact our relationships and behaviour as adults?
If I felt unsafe as a child, do I avoid going outside my comfort zone? Do I attempt to control people or my environment? Do I self medicate with drugs or alcohol? These are a few of the patterns that may show up.
In Love, did we feel special enough, loved, or important? There is a difference in knowing we are loved vs feeling loved. Was it conditional based on performance or a smothering love? Maybe we didn’t get enough love?
How might this show up as an adult? Do we obsess over our appearance to be loveable? Are you able to let love in from others? Are you able to be loving and gentle with yourself? Do you pick people that are unavailable and keep feeling abandoned?
Finally Boundaries, did our parents love us enough to say NO? Boundaries tell us that we are safe. Did we experience rigid inflexible boundaries or no boundaries at all? As a parent it is more work to hold boundaries. Did our parents have boundaries but could they also be responsive to the situation?
Boundaries teach us inner strength. How to stand up for ourselves. If we didn’t receive good, responsive, clear boundaries as children we may not learn how to be safe or self disciplined as an adult. This can show up in financial difficulties, having issues with commitment, or not having the strength to go after the things that we desire.
The great news is that we can cultivate these capabilities. Life gives us lots of opportunities to grow. Coming to counselling can help us understand our patterns, recognize our triggers and develop a sense of safety, feeing loved and an ability to learn and practice boundaries in our lives.