Children have more than just a desire to be loved; they want to be loved exclusively, without any limits. In other words, every child’s desire for love is unrealistic. But truth be told, any child could be very happy if they just received real mature love. That would actually do the trick in considerably knocking back their unrealistic demands. Too bad it’s so rare that a parent has the capacity for tendering genuine mature love.
Since they seldom receive an adequate amount of warmth and mature love, children remain hungry for it throughout their whole life. Until, that is, we properly deal with our hurts caused by this lack. When such healing doesn’t happen, we spend our grown-up lives chasing what was missed, which makes us then incapable of being the ones who might be capable of giving mature love. See what’s happening here? Generation after generation, the cycle gets handed down and continues.
We won’t find any remedies in wishing things were different. And it doesn’t help to hope that people will just learn to start practicing mature love. The only true remedy lies completely in our own hands. Certainly, if we had been one of the lucky few who received mature love, we wouldn’t have this problem to deal with, which at this point we’re not even fully aware we even have. But that in no way stops us from rectifying things now.
We only need to be willing to become aware that this is what happened so we can adjust our former hidden wishes and regrets to match reality. This will not only make us happier people, but we’ll become the rare beings who are now capable of offering mature love to others. Then benign chain reactions can replace the tired vicious circles that have been roiling around us seemingly forever. But let’s be honest, this kind of self-correction is not our normal mode of operating. We’re not alone.
Essentially everyone—even the most diligent spiritual seekers—overlooks just how strong the link is between the unfulfillment of our childhood longings and our present-day problems. This isn’t just a nice theory. It’s very real—about as real as our habit of always looking the other way. So first stop: full awareness. Consider yourself told.
How and Why we Recreate Childhood Hurts
BONES: A Building-Block Collection of 19 Fundamental Spiritual Teachings