A brief perspective, as there are many, on mind development and the three stages of growth that is possible when the appropriate knowledge and awareness is practiced.
When we are young, we openly absorb information without any filters of discernment. With no previous experiences to reflect upon, everything is personal, believable and taken at face value.
Whatever is being experienced and shared with an infant isn't questioned or cross examined, so a perspective is built which is not of the infant's own thinking and reasoning. A day will come where the child will experience self reflection and recognition and begin to think for itself. This is perfectly normal as it’s the initial stage of mind development before growth and maturity.
However, the information received before self recognition arrives will influence the child’s “own way of thinking” forevermore and must ideally be discerned at some point to avoid a life of poor health, emotional trauma, a troubled mind and inadequate purpose and direction.
Past experiences are valuable life lessons, if the purpose behind them is understood, as every moment up to this one, has a bearing on the current reality.
Life is a karmic boomerang that calls every past experience into the present moment. If any past experience has “unprocessed” trauma attached to it, self reflection and adopting “our own way of thinking” will be difficult, thus those childhood years will always remain in control of life throughout adulthood.
If you don't make time for your wellness and healing, you will be forced to make time for your illness and disease!
It is not what you experienced in the past that causes suffering, it is the way it was interpreted within that moment, which can be changed at any time.
Discernment and Interpretation.
To process and integrate any past experience, discerning or interpreting them into wisdom is the key. Discernment is simply “thinking for yourself”, rather than being told by others what to think and running on autopilot from previous experiences.
There is a difference between knowledge and applied knowledge. One has been experienced, the other is a mere idea waiting to be experienced..
Your knowledge must be lived for a greater purpose, balance and peace.
The intellect sees things as factual, either one way or the other, as black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. This one sided view of the world is the first phase in mind development and is instinctual. Instincts are thoughts and actions based on basic survival needs, pertaining to food, warmth, comfort, sleep, nurture, connection. It’s the time in life when it’s all about me, nothing or nobody else matters, I just selfishly want my needs met and I will behave and do what it takes to receive those needs. Again, this behaviour is expected and perfectly normal when in infancy and will naturally mature when ready...or not.
Understandably, this early stage lacks the awareness that others also have needs that must be met for harmony, equality and sustainable loving relationships.
However, if unable to properly mature the mind through the instinctual stage, those early thinking and behavioral patterns will continue to be expressed and played out in adulthood.
The instinctual mind tends to make decisions based on emotional reactions and that usually results in poor choices. “Young, dumb and full of attachments to mum” is the perfect analogy of instinctual thinking and behaviour.
In acting out emotionally in a relationship, we are reliving the parent attachment
It must be remembered, a child’s mind isn't capable of meeting its own needs, so it's certainly not able to meet anyone else's needs. It still has selfish expectations that its needs will be met in exactly the same way the parents met them. And as I know for myself, when the little boy inside me hasn't matured, I experience deja vu, by reliving the child, parent attachment all over again.
Now our partner becomes the parent, so harmony and loving connection is lost.
After all, how romantic can a relationship be if my partner has to become a parent to me?
That experience can be quite off putting, as having intimate or sexual encounters with a metaphorical mother or father isn't very appealing.
A co dependency arrives that needs to be dealt with, otherwise unhealthy attachments and intimacy issues will continue. In that scenario, love is lost so we detach and shut down from one another, which can lead to unfaithful thoughts, infidelity.and masturbation. (not to say mastubation is wrong, just consider the reasons why)
One of the only solutions is to address those attached child parts or the love that was given away and lost to the parents will always remain.
The Intellect and it’s Conditions
In stage two of our growth, the mind matures into the intellectual or conditional phase. This is where we become aware that others have needs and desires exactly as you do. Reciprocity, equal exchange and making selfless sacrifices are called for if a relationship has any chance of succeeding.
The instinctual phase was purely selfish and there was no understanding of the partner’s needs. Within this intellectual thinking stage, we are aware enough to know that to have our needs met, we must meet our partners needs too.
We have somewhat grown and matured, although the needs being met between you have “conditions” to them. You scratch my back, then I'll scratch yours. I will give you what you want as long as I get what I want from you. I will only love you if you love me first.
To resolve a conditional relationship, we must look at the insecurities around trust issues with parents. If unable to “unconditionally” and wholeheartedly honour, respect and authentically accept your parents in how they raised you, there will always be a missing in intimate partnerships.
If a child didn't have their emotional needs attended to by the parents, trust issues exist so there will most likely be an underlying attachment of parental resentment and neediness. A resentment that is based on lack of parental trust that . Emotionally ignoring a child is probably the most traumatic event a child could encounter.
A quote; you can make me wrong, call me harsh names or physically beat me, just dont ignore me.
Being ignored along with broken promises and telling or ordering a child how to behave and live will surely screw them up. From that point onwards, most thoughts and actions will be rooted in fear, shame and other debilitating emotional traits.
Obviously, a child is unaware of these parental shortcomings and conditions, but can be observed through behaviour problems and uncompassionate communication between parent and child. Maybe your parent(s) said one day; “you can go out to play or have a friend round “as long” as you eat your dinner and go to bed early?
That agreement was contingent on conditions that are rooted in mistrust, so In becoming aware of these thoughts and behaviours, the courage to be open and vulnerable by being the one who unconditionally trusts and gives or shares something with a partner, without any expectations on anything being returned.
You must be willing to accept the outcome of your offerings without conditions to integrate and heal your mistrust. In doing so, you will also guide and teach your partner to do the same, otherwise you both continue to live in a conditional relationship. This is achieved by being courageous, choosing unconditionally and learning to trust the insecurities and shadow aspects that arise.
Remember, this has nothing to do with the partner’s trust issues, only they can heal their mistrust and insecurity issues. By judging or telling them about their issues, you will never heal yours, plus it makes you the parent and we have already covered that scenario.
Compassionate and empathetic communication about these issues is the only way for you both to foster authenticity, honesty and trust.
This leads me into the third and final level of mind development.
Intuition and Unconditional Love
At the helm of this third stage of growth, is the “intuitive mind”. The mind that understands life is a mirror of its own creation and all perspectives about people, places and things come from within.
In an intuitive relationship, we know ourselves and our needs and desires. In knowing self, we know how our partner ticks, by appreciating their thoughts, behaviours and needs. Whenever a conflict of interest arises you know it’s yours to own and trust in your partner that they are doing the same, then you both know how to communicate without judgement and conditions and instead with empathy and compassion.
Now there is no longer the instinctual or intellectual attachments of parents and conditions as we are practicing unconditional love at every conscious opportunity. The childish games and parental behaviours are over so now you can journey with trust into unconditional love.
This enlightened stage is where intuition knows how to navigate and best deal with any situation and it’s now realized love is an inside job and not something that a partner can “give you.”
You now live in wisdom and have a fulfilled experience of equality and a healthy and harmonious bond that can never be broken.