One of the fundamental needs we have as a young child, and continuing all the way through adulthood, is attunement. Attunement happens when the caregiver “gets” the child. Imagine a mother is holding her toddler, and the toddler wiggles to get down. When the mother let’s the child down she is in tune with the energy and needs of the child. Frequent mis-attunement can lead to a damaged sense of self, which can create negative beliefs around feeling unworthy and unvalued and unsafe.
Many years ago I worked with a client who told me the story of her first period. Her mother was notoriously unavailable, being emotionally shut down, working full time, and going to collage. The client asked several times for her mom’s attention. When the mother finally listened to the report of the period starting, she replied by saying: “Oh, I hope you are taking care of it.” The client did not know how to “take care of it!” Since the mother was unable to attune to both the client’s emotional and physical needs, she turned to her older sister for support.
In the session the client talked about the wave of shame and embarrassment she felt because of her mother’s lack of attunement. The client described how she retreated deep into her heart chakra and created an energetic shield over her heart. We began to work on her heart. Inside we found a young one hiding deep within. The little one asked: “How did you find me?” She was reluctant to be seen or contacted, so we acknowledged her fear and desire to hide. Then the little one reached out her hand for connection, then jumped in the lap of the client for a hug.
The client’s continuing work was to stay connected with the little one and attune to her needs.