WHEN you don’t receive sufficient quality and quantity of love during your childhood, you seek it all  your life. You will always feel an emotional deficiency, a longing, an insecurity that you will try to fill up. Well, to feel completely loved as a child, three conditions must exist. The first condition for healthy emotional development is that your parents must ‘love themselves’. If the mother or father does not like herself or himself, he or she will have little love to their children.

The second condition that must be fulfilled for a child to feel fully loved is that his or her parents must ‘love each other’. It  is said that the kindest thing that a man can do for his children is to love their  mother and the reverses is also true. When children grow up in a household   in which the mother and father love each other in a way the children can see and experience they are far more likely to grow up with feelings of security and  self confidence.

The third condition that must exist for a child to feel fully loved is that parents must love their children.  In many households parents do not love their  children because they  didn’t have the time  or  because of conflicts and problems in the household. Many parents, in fact, are not able to love their children because the child develops a personality of its own which the parents take as an affront. They respond by criticizing their  children or withdrawing  their  love.

The important thing to know is that whether the parents loved you or not, you are still a valuable and worthwhile person. Most adults hold the lack of love during their childhood against their parents. They internalized the message that for some reason Mom and Dad criticized them because they know their children better  and it must be because of some deficiency. This can be called guilt.

The manifestation of guilt leads to feelings of inferiority, inadequacy and undeservingness.  If good  things happen, he feels uncomfortable. Another manifestation of guilt is self-criticism and self-defeating behaviour. You can hear people say “I am no good”. “I am terrible with numbers.”  “I  can never improve.” By saying these negative things again and again, they internalize it and make it a reality. Speak with confidence and conviction. Say “I  will” , “I want to” and  then you are on the road to happiness.

– T.G.L. Iyer

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