Last blog we talked about early lessons and how they impact our behaviors. There is one early lesson we learn that is often under our awareness. We learn about the nature of the Universe. The way our parents attach to us, and interact with us, deeply impacts our spirituality and world view. Einstein stated, “The most important question a person can ask is, “Is the Universe a friendly place?
What he failed to mention, is how much our early environment has much to do with how we answer that question. Perhaps, he just understood this because he was brilliant. Almost across the board, children raised in secure attachment families would answer, the universe is friendly. Whereas children raised in abuse, neglect, or insecure attachments, would state is it not.
We learn in templates, so our interaction within our first family give us our baseline templates for power dynamics, how authority is handled, relationships, and how males and females and adults and children interact. This is just to name a few that have significance for this blog. We can not keep thousands of relationships separate in our heads, so our brains just associates anything similar to the first templates made. (By the way, the good news is that these templates can be changed for the better.)
Our world views are also formed during our early years, see previous blog for more on this. When our first years of life include situations where we feel unsafe or unloved, we are building our attachment styles and also our view of God or the universe. If you believe in a personal God, who interacts with human and creation as I do, the early lessons learned about power, authority and relationship dynamics will be automatically transferred onto your view of God. If you eschew the idea of a personal God, you may view it more as the power of fate or the universe, but you will still view the universe as unsafe if your early environment included neglect or abuse.
If you are questioning this information, do a little test, think about your dad and or mom. If your parent(s) were overall kind, loving and supportive people, I bet your view of God or the universe is a positive one. If your parents were angry, punitive, scary or neglectful, I bet when you think of God or the universe, your view is not so positive. Many long-term church-going Christians, and I would guess also Jews and Muslims, would insist that God is good and loving. However, when they are in trouble or have messed up, or are frightened, that same God seems unmoved to their plight, indifferent or even angry and punitive. (I was one of these people for many years of my life.)
This is one of the many reasons why learning how to become securely attached is so important. Your view of God and the universe changes for the better as you feel secure in your life and in your relationships. This can even occur in relationship with God and our faith communities, we can learn secure attachment there and then transfer it to our families, etc,. And my friends, this will decrease your anxiety more than most any other change you make!
1) Think for a few minutes about your early environment and how that template interacts with your view of God and/or the Universe. Write down the correlations that you notice and if you have any anxiety about God or the friendliness of the universe, see where you may have over-laid your first experiences onto your worldview.
2) We more often put our father’s traits onto our ideas of God because years of Christendom have given us the idea that God is a male, which is not even Biblically accurate. When you think of your father, what traits of his, good or bad, have you overlaid onto your version of God or even the universe?
To learn how to evict the anxiety in your life, join one of my 3-week anxiety reduction workshops. Go to http://www.sdtraumatherapy.com for more information. Mention this blog when you sign up and receive a 10% discount! Happy Loving.