When I say ‘inheritance’, you may think of that which is promised to an offspring by virtue of being born within a particular family - tangible things that are duly ours to look after or indulge in once our ancestors have passed on.
While the promise of a material inheritance may be the privilege of a select few, what is almost always guaranteed to us without exception, is the emotional and psychological baggage of our primary care takers – handed down to us soon after we are born.
But what role does this play in shaping how we are and who we become?
Trauma is passed down not because of genes but because the same conditions are recreated over and over again. Trauma and dysfunction is multi-generational and that’s how it is inherited with its effects lasting a long time.
The mind of a toddler or a young child is perhaps the most impressionable asset known to mankind. Between the ages of 0-6 years, a child’s brain is mainly in theta – a semi-hypnotic brain wave state in which information is swallowed whole from the environment barring any filter or judgment. Since younger children lack language skills, they rely primarily on their intuition and the energy they pick up from their primary care takers to interpret and make sense of their world.
Psychology teaches us that life begins at conception – not at birth. Keeping this in mind, the emotional states of both parents at the time of conception fully contribute to the well-being or lack thereof of the child’s development process and quality of life after birth. There is now countless evidence to show the fetus is highly susceptible to the emotional states of the mother.
Even after birth, children intrinsically know when their parents are stressed out. EEGs (electro encephalograms) conducted on the brains of infants approximately six months old with depressed mothers were compared with those whose mothers were happy. From the EEG of the child, the mental state of the mother could be easily deciphered.
You can seldom separate a person from their environment, we are ultimately completely shaped by it.
But why is this so? Parents’ stress levels have the potential to program the physiology of the child under their care. Healthy brain circuit development needs the presence of a non-stressed, emotionally available, consistent caregiver. Proper brain chemistry is ultimately dependent upon the presence of the mother and her ability to nurture the infant.
When this falls short and since children do not know any different, they develop ways of being that are detrimental to their own health. As unintentional as this is on the part of the parent, they unconsciously and automatically transfer their stress onto their children.
Infants especially, pick up on the stress of their mother and since this relationship is paramount for their survival, they try not to rock the boat any further by repressing their own pain in an effort to maintain this relationship. This becomes a stored memory in the body - one without any conscious recall.
So how do we ensure that the intangibles we pass down to our children are in tune with their highest good? We resolve to fix ourselves first! By making the unknown known or the unconscious conscious, we can start to understand what WE in turn have inherited from our parents that make up the program we refer to as our “life” - our beliefs, triggers, patterns of thinking and feeling, attitudes, stressors to name a few.
At the end of the day, our children are so much smarter than we give them credit for. Perhaps our words or actions can fool them but our energy cannot! The younger the child, the more equipped they are to pick up on these energies and how we are feeling around them.
The greatest inheritance for our kids would therefore be the effort we make to bring to the table, the best version of ourselves as we raise them. In turn, we offer them the best shot at a healthy, functional, emotionally secure life taught by example, surpassing most benefits that a solely material inheritance could ever offer.
She has been on the management team of Vinati Organics Limited since 2006 and balances the technical/manufacturing execution with her marketing abilities combined with new age aggression.