In Maslow’s hierarchy most of the needs are actually emotional needs. As his famous triangle shows our physical needs are at the bottom. Once those are met our emotional needs become most important to us.
Boundaries = predictability / consistency = safety.
Children need boundaries. Boundaries enable them to draw a map of their world in their head which, in turn, gives them a great sense of security and stability.
The way children learn boundaries is through being raised in a predictable environment. Being consistent allows children to predict with a good measure of accuracy what will happen. They quickly learn how far they can safely go – and what the consequences will be if they cross that boundary line.
If, on the other hand, rules and consequences change from day to day, how can children learn the rules of the home, let alone the outside world? Inconsistency causes confusion in children and can lead to a life lived in a state of hypervigilance as they try to figure out what’s next.
Boundaries exist to keep everyone safe but often in a home where addiction/mental illness is present, there is chaos:
- People don’t do what they promise to do
- People don’t do what they tell you to do
- There is no sense of responsibility
- There is no moderation in mood and behavior. Its an all or nothing environment
If grown ups aren’t consistent and reliable it is impossible to trust them. This then carries through as a life full of mistrust and fear. Mistrust not only of the world but also of themselves and their capabilities.
Now, take a moment to reflect on whether you are keeping your inner child safe and secure. Are you creating a consistent and structured environment for yourself? An environment which will remove the chaos and bring you the serenity you deserve.
This is a meditation/affirmation by Louise Hay, take a short break and experience.