When we are young we are vulnerable and defenceless. We do things to survive and thrive. We do things to please, to be appreciated, to be rewarded and not be punished and to be loved. We have a strong survival instinct and pain is directly in conflict with survival. This is why something truly magical happens in your mind. 

To protect you from experiencing a particular pain again and again your body develops behaviours that ensure that this situation is not repeated or has its defences ready to retaliate. Once this behaviour is developed it stays with you for the rest of your life. This behaviour is your protector from a particular pain. 

Let’s apply this to Lydia’s childhood…

Lydia did not have a great childhood. She was not a very popular girl. She was shy unlike her siblings. Her parents were both working and were very busy taking care of the family and the finances. They did not have much time for the kids, not because they did not want to, but they did not have the time. They needed to feed a family of five and this took them away from their kids most of the day. 

Lydia did not have many friends. No one to really talk to either. Her older sister was five years older than her. They were very different from each other. Parents often wished Lydia could be more like her older sister – more intelligent, smarter, quick witted, confident, friendly and so on. Lydia grew smaller and smaller in her sister’s shadow. She was often told she was not good enough. 

What do you think happened to Lydia’s psyche? Do you think she grew up confident and happy? As common sense would suggest she grew up with a lot of insecurities, fears, hate for self and others, self-criticism, sadness and very low self-confidence. 

Now fast forward 20 years ahead into her adulthood, do you think she could very different from her child self?