We all experience the first moment of trauma when we realise that the love from our care givers is conditional – it may be in the form of the realisation that the love we receive is not unbounded, the care giver is not perfect or is not 100% attuned or attentive to all our needs, or it might be in a form when we realise that the love has conditions- when we’re ‘good’ rather than our true imperfect selves – only good enough when we don’t answer back, when we are quiet, when we are not playing up, when we are successful, when we do as we are told, when we conform, when we fulfil the version of the infant that our care givers need / want in any given moment.
The choice between authenticity and connection is then made – do I be true to myself or do I fit to the model and receive the love I need to survive.
That conditioning then drives us – whatever belief we create around ‘I’m only loveable when ….’ forms part of the pattern of our life. The sense of not good enough- a fear of failing or a fear of not being enough- drives us to strive for the love that we have lost. That love might be felt by chasing something that is just out of our reach – just as that sense of being loved was just beyond our reach. We get seduced that in ‘achievement’ or ‘success’ we can feel that sense of being noticed, recognised, loved, wanted, needed – just like an addict seeking the next hit the moment of success is the cessation of the craving, the end to the fear – yet it is short-lived and quickly the sense of loss is back, the underlying trauma remains, and the striving continues again.
The search for better is that seduction playing itself out – adrenaline to fight the fear of not being good enough, dopamine in the pursuit and realisation of the surrogates that we have convinced ourselves are the missing piece of the puzzle.
Rarely do we pause and appreciate what we have, celebrate all that we have, accept what is, be satisfied with just being ourselves, be grateful for all that we are, invest in creating the conditions and mindset where we, ourselves, can be our own best source of unconditional love.
Instead, we very often sabotage our own sense of worthiness by not even showing ourselves our own unconditional love for ourselves. We perpetuate the trauma by running the very script we learnt during that first traumatic moment- the insidious belief that we are not good enough or not unconditionally loveable continues inside us long after the traumatic moment, long after the incident. We don’t even recognise that it’s the internal narrative that is eroding our capacity to feel loveable, or to feel safe enough to live with a feeling of contentment, peace and tranquillity.
The solution is to rebuild our own sense of self-worth, to actively pursue a sense of unconditional positive self-regard for ourselves, to restore our own belief that we are loveable, that we are worthy, that we are good enough exactly as we are – it is in this work that we can discover long term peace, tranquillity and contentment.
And from that sense of calm, a sense of tranquillity that we have forgotten as our true essence, can we truly begin to connect to ourselves, to trust ourselves, to feel a sense of unconditional love and acceptance for who we truly are – someone born into this world with an opportunity to fully experience the wonder and privilege of being alive, and to recognise that that is enough, to be in awe and wonder of the miracle of life and the gift we have been given to experience all that is around us. To be free from fear, to release the sense of chasing more and truly blossom within our own becoming, to reveal our true essence to ourselves and in so doing to be able to encourage others to see their own route to their own release and revelation.