“You will win all of your external battles, the moment you win your internal one”
Progression is the conscious decision to learn about ourselves and to integrate the learning and grow personally from it. It is said that life is a journey but given all the lessons we have to learn, life might also be described as the ultimate school, where we are ‘in tuition’. Crucial to our individual development is awareness of our unconscious habits, programmes, and deep-seated beliefs about ourselves and others, and the boundaries we do or do not have in place. Some psychologists think that life, experience and memory begin at birth. Others believe memory and experience begin in the womb when we are physically still attached by the umbilical cord, and that we not only exchange all of our fluids with our mothers, but in the womb, we exchange emotion. Whatever you believe about prenatal life, when we are born the umbilical cord is undoubtedly cut. But there is another cord through which we are very much still attached to our mothers, the emotional cord – and that invisible cord is not cut.
Attachments or bonds form immediately after birth as part of an innate mechanism of life. All animals form bonds for the purpose of survival, food, and comfort. Relationships are exactly what they say they are – a relay. We exchange physical, psychological, emotional, and even energetic material with the other person. In healthy relationships, both people give roughly equal amounts of time, effort, affection, and thought. In unhealthy relationships, the other person invests very little, and if we are not aware of the imbalance, they learn to take much more than they give. Through what is a circular process of transference and countertransference between parent and child, the first, primary relationship is thought to be hugely important to our psychological development and relationship formation as adults, as the primary relationship sets the blueprint for all of our other relationships. The primary relationship with our parents is the one we try to unconsciously replicate in adult life with others – for better or for worse. We magnetise them in, which is why we can often discover that we have been continually dating the same person, each time with a different name! Either we try to replicate the first relationship because it was good, or we try to continually rework it, because it wasn’t!