Relating starts earlier than we thought

Most of us have heard or recognized in themselves: relating starts within me, starts with the relationship I have with myself. But did you know? Our ability to relate is largely shaped in the last trimester of pregnancy.

So what influences the relationship I have with myself? How does that come into existence? What plays into that?

  • Beliefs about myself, others and life itself: like i.e. I am lovable, don’t trust strangers or life is unfair – beliefs like those play a key role.
  • Examples that we find in our family, amongst friends and our (sub) culture also shape us and our self-perception.
  • If we look a little deeper we find role allocation in our family, passed down norms and values.
  • But also – often since generations – unsolved conflicts, blows of fate, family secrets and / or unresolved trauma, like war or flight experience of earlier generations.

All of the above is experienced, I could say, through outside circumstances. Circumstances which of course do have an effect on the inside, create a feeling, a self-perception, which are reflected back into our basic sense of being.

Only lately science starts discovering that the sense for our own beingness starts in the womb already. Our ability to relate is largely shaped in the last trimester of pregnancy. Relevant neuronal connections in the brain are formed during those weeks.

Equally the subjective feeling of our right to exist, which is the essential foundation of how we look into and then perceive the world. The feeling of, I am welcomed, I am loved the way I am – this fundamental basis, or the lack of it, is largely formed during pregnancy.

Lets take a moment for this piece of information:

How does that sit with you? How does it feel? What does that mean practically? Looking back can you discover a thread when it comes to the whole subject of relating?

To the degree your mother was able to relate to you during pregnancy, to look forward to having you or to take time to sense still has an effect on you today.

Those very first experiences are literally built into
the most fundamental structures of our nervous system.

And her capacity depended on her life circumstances for one, and also on her own ability to love, to receive, to feel with… and what she has received from her mother.

So we can see it’s constantly handed down from one generation to the next. And with a little bit of luck and a small step of development, self-knowledge and peace can happen. It can happen – for our own sake, that of the coming generation, and for the ones that came before.

Peace takes effect in all directions.