Why the Pain?

The higher you fly the more encompassing the view. Patterns emerge. Individual trees become forests. Hills become mountains. Lakes become oceans. Each of the observations that follow are profound. Together they create a constellation of insights that reflect universal forces that shape each of our lives, for better or worse. We call these forces nurturing, attachment, bonding, authentic or original play, feeling connected to the social web. The impact of these forces on a child’s development are immutable, absolute. When experienced, development moves in positive, life affirming directions. When not, the impact is crippling, aggressive, violent - even suicidal.

The journey this post invites is rich and diverse. Best to print. Hold these insights in your hand. Go slowly and savor. Here’s the PDF Ask Why The Pain.

Michael Mendizza

Don’t ask why the addiction. Ask; Why the pain?

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
Gabor Maté, MD.

I speak to thousands of people every month and the most difficult audiences are the medical ones who deal with the manifestations of early childhood loss but they don’t know that that’s what they’re dealing with. They think they’re looking at diseases, symptoms, mental illness, dysfunctions, psychosis, behaviors that are categorized under one diagnosis or another. They don’t realize that the commonality is the early childhood loss in trauma. Present them with that information and you present it to them in detail with all the research perimeters being covered so that it’s not just impressionistic or antidotal but actually research based and they sit there stunned. They don’t know what to do with it. If that was only my own failure to communicate I could say okay well if somebody else presented it then maybe they would listen. But no.

Themes: 
attachment
bonding
Original Play

Melting Hugs

Today Carly Elizabeth it officially eighteen months young. Yes, the brain grows more the first year than any other time. The density of possible connections are two to three times that of an adult. What does that mean? Muffins on the floor, toy train wrecks, hidden objects to trip over in the dark, toilet paper strolling down the hall, my wallet in the trash, car keys in the vacuum and a million other surprises.

Themes: 
bonding
brain development
unconditional love

The Only Power Strong Enough

 

Carly Elizabeth is seven months young today, just this week beginning to pre-crawl. I wish I could be so attentive, persistent, focused, so sensitive and aware of everything instead of being preoccupied with all my stuff. Carly craves engagement and it is truly one of the most challenging tasks as a parent to keep up, to stay in the present moment, to share this experience together right now. Oh, how easy it is to give that demand for complete engagement over to some mechanical or technological thing, but at what price?

Themes: 
attachment
bonding
culture

Attachment, Bonding or Attunment

John Bowlby coined the term ‘attachment’ for a healthy mother-infant-father relationship and was plummeted by his peers for doing so. Marshal Klaus, MD., helped popularized the term ‘bonding’ to describe the precious cascade of discovery-contact-response encounters shared by newborn and mother during their first moments and hours after birth. Bowlby was influenced by infants who had missed or were deprived normal mothering , those in intuitions and orphanages. In these infants something was broken, detached. Klaus observed what may be called attached mother-infant relationships as they discover, make contact and respond in completely new ways, postnatal, coming together, forming new patterns. Each term ‘attachment’ and ‘bonding’ were and are appropriate given the context. Both terms break down and lose some of their meaning however, when applied to the larger, ever-changing reciprocal dynamic we call childhood and parenting. Attunement may be more precise when describing this overarching movement.

Themes: 
parenting
bonding

Lunch With Carly Elizabeth

Carly and I (and of course Z, mother and wife) landed in a hip, crowded and loud bistro in Laguna Beach the day after Christmas along with my brother Mark. The waitress removed one of the chairs and slipped in a wooded highchair. In three days Carly Elizabeth will be five months young. As the early morning sun danced across the hotel sheets Carly was balancing, arms stretched, almost sitting up by herself, but not quite. Even so, the wooden highchair was too low and too far away. I pushed a dish aside and sat Carly on the table with my arm around her.

Themes: 
bonding
parenting

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