Everyone has an Inner Foundation, that is unique to them based upon their biography and biology. Due to the environment, you grew up and your role models, you adopt a view of yourself that profoundly affects the way you lead your life, and whether you become your true self and whether you accomplish the things you value.
You may wonder, what is the Inner Foundation and why is it so important?
In essence, the Inner Foundation is the seat of your Soul. It’s the foundation that represents everything within you, from birth until death. It’s the internal foundation of your health and well-being, consisting of four internal health structures: Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual.
The four health structures of our Inner Foundation are interdependent and began to form before we are born. The mother/ infant affection, the parenting style and overall living conditions are vital aspects to the initial development of the Inner Foundation.
The parent–child relationship during the first five years of existence is of crucial importance to the infant’s health and well-being. At such an early age, the infant acts like a sponge, registering and feeling all interactions with the parents and with the surrounding environment.
The quality of such initial life experiences, good or bad, especially with the mother, determines the child’s development during infancy and beyond until adult life. The infancy period is when the self-esteem, self-worth and the personality are formed.
Consider the important fact, that within a stable, loving and safe family environment, children have a much better opportunity to integrate an empathic and deeper comprehension of themselves and the world around them. Therefore, they have a greater chance to grow into an adult with a strong and stable Inner Foundation.
Our Inner Foundation is strong and stable when the four internal health structures are functioning optimally, providing us with good levels of stamina, a strong immune system, a positive mindset and outlook towards life. The outcome of this can be measured today through your health condition, your relationship dynamics, your life standards and how you feel about yourself.
Guided from within, adults with a strong Inner Foundation have a more stable mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. This is also the blossoming outcome, when we decide to work upon ourselves and heal the past to rebuild our Inner Foundation and pursue a life that is more fulfilling and meaningful to us. Moving away from societal expectations and demands but instead being led by our Soul, inner wisdom and innate divine guidance. On the other end, challenging environments in childhood such as an absence of an emotional bond and harsh discipline (authority figure) negatively impact the development of our Inner Foundation.
Individuals with fragile Inner Foundation have been exposed to early childhood trauma and or, some kind of persistent neglect or abuse within the family unit or in their communities. In many cases both are true. Therefore, the consequences of having a fragile Inner Foundation are closely related to a weak immune system and a constant reoccurrence of health issues such as allergies, gut infections, auto-immune diseases, obesity, depression, mood swings, addictions and cancer.
The Dutch psychiatrist, Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, is one of the world’s foremost experts on traumatic stress and causes of childhood trauma in adulthood. He is the author of several scholarly books and over a hundred scientific articles. In Dr. Bessel’s book- The Body Keeps the score, he mentioned that he encountered a similar phenomenon in victims of child abuse. Most of them suffered from agonizing shame about the actions they took to survive and maintain a connection with the person who abused them. This was particularly true if the abuser was someone close to the child, someone the child depended on, as is so often the case. The result can be confusion about whether one was a victim or a willing participant, which in turn leads to bewilderment about the difference between wrong and right, love and terror; pain and pleasure.
Individuals with a fragile Inner Foundation are not able to trust themselves and struggle to regulate their emotions, often reacting to people and situations as they perceive they have been attacked. Due to their insecurity, they have expectations that others should regulate their mood swings. In some situations, such expectations arise as a belief that others are responsible for their levels of happiness, finances, security and spiritual growth. When things don’t go well as expected, they blame others, instead of reflecting upon their behavior and responsibility related to the situation. Fight or flight is the automatic response.
Overwhelmed with stress, these individuals easily swing back and forth into extreme behaviors such as passive then aggressive; the victim-victimizer behavioral dynamic. As a result, they do not yet have the resources within themselves to develop a healthy conscious lifestyle, meaningful relationships and a stable home environment. This can all change for the better if they decide initiate their personal healing journey of self-discovery, personal development and self-actualization.
Did you know how you felt, sensed, perceived and experienced yourself and the environment around you during infancy, stays imprinted in your physical body and subconscious mind until today?
Did you ever stop to consider how your behavior, beliefs, and worldview are inherited from your childhood upbringing and societal expectations?
The Hungarian Canadian doctor, Dr. Gabor Maté, has a background in family practice and a special interest in childhood development, trauma and the potential lifelong impacts on physical and mental health. Impacts such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, addictions, and a wide range of other health conditions can arise. He believes that most mental health conditions originate from unresolved childhood trauma, and that is why he describes current Western culture as “insane”, because of its failure to meet basic human needs.
Even if today, we don’t remember our past experiences, they are still present in our subconscious mind and stored in our physical body, influencing our behavior, relationship dynamics and overall life satisfaction.
Have you wondered the reasons why so many of us procrastinate and self-sabotage our current lives for reasons currently unknown to us?
It’s important to comprehend the connection between childhood and adulthood and how such past life experiences are possibly impacting our adult life today. When giving full attention to the link between childhood and adulthood, we can more easily comprehend the reason of our current health condition and well-being. Not only that, but also why we think and behave in a certain way today and how we treat ourselves and how we allow others to treat us.
The internal experience of accepting or rejecting yourself directly impacts your behavior toward the outside world and how you choose to interact with yourself and others around you. Not only that but the fact that you feel good or bad about your self has a direct impact upon your health and overall well-being
Even though infancy is a crucial period to initiate the development of the Inner Foundation, that does not mean other experiences happening after infancy are not as relevant. All life experiences from infancy to adulthood, positive or negative are relevant to determine the existence of a strong or fragile Inner Foundation.
You have the potential to build the most magnificent tower in the world, but if the foundation is not intact – if there are cracks and bumps and bruises – it will eventually tumble down. Similarly, a life of good standards, direction, and fun cannot be truly actualized if the foundation on which it is built is not solid.
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About The Writer
Susana Hancock is the author of the book The Inner Foundation- How Society impacts Your Inner foundation. She has a global professional experience of over twenty years, working in Europe and Asia in areas of leadership, staff training and personal development. Since 2016 Susana has been delivering professional training and coaching programs to individuals, schools, business and governmental organizations.