Our grandbaby is smiling. Each smile rivets the attention of everyone in the room, turning us into pure marshmallow. A smile is such a little thing, but every time I see it, it is like a tiny sun lighting up the room and flooding my heart with warmth and affection. And that’s as it should be.
Researcher Dr. Lane Strathearn, assistant professor of paediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, found that a mother’s brain responds to her own baby’s smile by producing dopamine, making her feel happy and building attachment with her little one. Researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel found that when a mother and child smile at each other, their heartbeats synchronise with their hearts literally beating in time with each other. It is part of the bonding process that ensures that parents care for their children and give them what they need to grow. In the best of circumstances it also helps create a loving relationship with plenty of cuddles which are just as important to healthy development.
We all need to be nurtured and treated with acceptance and affection in order to feel safe and secure and develop healthy self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense of our own self-worth. If any of this has been missing from our childhood, it is possible to recover from neglect or abuse and heal the wounded child within us. Working with a skilled counsellor or therapist can assist in the recovery process. If you did not receive what you needed when you were small, you are not to blame: you did not cause this to happen. Each one of us is immensely valuable and we are all worthy of love and deserve the very best. With help it is possible to quiet the pain and find peace and wholeness.
- What will you do today to celebrate the wonder of being you?
- If you are hurting, will you make a commitment today to find someone to help you begin your journey of recovery?
- I wish you well. . .