Taken from The Relational Soul – It is virtually impossible to overstate the significance of our learned relational attachment system in the early years and its profound influence on our relational experience as adults. The quality and character of the programming we received early in life establishes a “pattern of attachment” that controls our relationships later in life.
Our way of entering into and maintaining all our relationships is one of the earliest psychological structures formed in us. We come into the world neurologically wired to make connections, to “attach” with others. When our early connections are healthy we will find it easier to connect well as adults. To the extent our emotional attachment with our primary caregivers is lacking while we are children we will find our relational capacity limited as adults.
We are able to attach to others because our souls are relational and permeable. God designed us to absorb the presence of others, especially when we are young. The attachment system is so significant and comprehensive it literally organizes and influences the development of other critical neurological systems in the body. Our feelings, will, and memory come under its domain in the first months of life. When our cognition comes on line later it will also be under the influence of our attachment system. In other words, the attachment network compels us to connect with others and it eventually controls how we connect with others.
Taken from The Relational Soul by Richard Plass and James Cofield. Copyright (c) 2014 by Richard Plass and James Cofield. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426. www.ivpress.com