August 20, 2015

“Where there is love, there is life.” – Mahatma Ghandi

While many people consider the word “love” to be sentimental, insignificant, and relating only to the “inconsequential” issue of personal relationships, in reality love is the source of all power in the world. Love is created by nature (whether you call it God or not) to bond mothers to infants, mothers to fathers, fathers to mothers, parents to children, children to parents. It is through the process of parenting that human behavior is intergenerationally transmitted.

The parents’ relationship is the child’s first example and model for the child’s own future relationships throughout life. The mother’s attachment and ability to bond is the infant’s first relationship experience affecting the child’s ability to bond throughout life. The father’s modeling of healthy behaviors toward the family becomes his son’s example of how to behave with his loved ones throughout life. The mother’s love glues a family together with its emotional depth and unwavering strength. The father’s protectiveness, respect, and love toward his daughter develops her security and lifetime healthy behavior patterns. His loving appreciation of her talents and intelligence makes her a woman who is confident in her intellectual abilities. Mutual support, respect, and desire to bond between the parents and by the parents toward their children create children who become confident, supported, intelligent, secure, and who naturally engage in healthy relationships.

Scientific studies are showing that environmental influences in the earliest years fundamentally affect the way a human brain develops and that genetic expression is impacted by the environment. Patterns of behavior are passed down biologically through the effect of early life environments on the human brain and body. As an example, attachment between the mother and the child in early infancy is shown to be critical to the development of the capacity to bond and to form healthy relationships. If that child is able to bond in a healthy relationship in adulthood, then that individual’s children will grow up in a secure bonded family.

When the child does not get the love he needs from his parents or experiences harmful relationship patterns between the parents, the child’s development is fundamentally impacted. This type of impact leads to dysfunctional stress response systems and neural connections that recreate negative patterns of behavior and experience throughout life. Children who grow up with neglect or abuse, even in forms we may culturally consider acceptable such as an infant left to cry for long periods, will relive those negative patterns – both as victims and as perpetrators.

What this means is that love or lack thereof is the most important force in the world. It is love that creates a happy healthy productive human being and it is a lack of love (in whatever form) that creates humans who suffer and who inflict suffering on others.

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