By: Esperanza Chacón

Through the networks I made contact with a special friend from Ecuador and taking advantage of the WiFi I asked her about how she is doing with her children in the mandatory home confinement? He replied that he is doing well and that in daily coexistence he has observed several things that raise the need to know how to protect the space of each of the members in the intimate space of relationships, called family.

I take this concern, to make an approximation, because when we go through the experience of compulsory confinement, whether we want to or not, “we bump into each other in social spaces and in individual spaces, even if this is my private square meter”. This suggests that we address the implications of the protective membrane and linkages in social relationships.

“The bond of affection is a strong emotional bond that helps us to want to be with the other person, to help each other, to protect each other and to caress each other. It is one of the most positive relationships, the most humane and caring.”

(Arthur Janov 2001:334)

Life presents women as mothers with the opportunity for natural connection; it is the program of the mammalian species, an essential part of our evolutionary history. Cultivating this nexus means, in practice, to heart with our offspring. Although in pregnancy mother and child share the same membrane – the mother’s womb – they are independent beings; “the amniotic sac” is the membrane that protects the embryo from the outside and envelops the inside so that the process of life can continue. In this way it is established what it is: “inside and outside” that in coexistence allows mutual cooperation. For the fetus, the intrauterine environment is the environment in which it develops, based on the stimuli of the environment and the information contained in its DNA, whose purpose is to activate its potentialities for its survival and self-realization.

Research by Drs. Thomas Verny and J. Kelly, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, confirms that: “the strong intrauterine bond is the fundamental protection of the child from the dangers and uncertainties of the outside world and as we have already seen is not limited to the uterine period (…) To a large extent this bond also determines the future of the mother-child relationship” (1988:76).

Then, the child perceives the stimuli from the environment that pass through the first filter, the maternal membrane. In this period she is the nexus, the protection, the food and contributes to its development; that is why I consider that the baby’s habitat is its mother.

So what is the function of a membrane? Let us take as a basis for analysis the cell, the simplest expression of life, whose physical structure is composed of a nucleus, a cytoplasm, and a plasma membrane -semipermeable, translucent, dynamic and fluid-. The function of the cell membrane is to allow the organism to eliminate what it does not need and to allow what it does need to pass from the outside. The survival of every cell depends on this interaction, “which has a thickness of 6 to 10 nanometers that allows maintaining the differences between the inside and the outside of the cell “1.

When a child is born, he or she has the love of mom and dad, both of whom are a fantastic and indispensable emotional support. In addition, skin-to-skin contact – individual membranes – through caressing provides security. When the mother instinctively places the baby next to the heart, the son or daughter recognizes these sounds because he or she already heard them inside and confirms that he or she is still with her. In the same way, when adults assume the responsibility of their care, they fulfill the function of the membrane in a natural way, because they are the ones who prepare the house -nest- to protect the integrity of all, then by analogy the family represents an “external womb”.

In order to approach a comprehensive answer, it is important to take into account, what do we respect? Emphasis is placed on what is most relevant to the inner world: authentic needs, sensitive periods, developmental stages and rhythms; these elements make up their life plan and are complemented by the outer world -chaos-. Therefore, to accompany sons and daughters with love and respect, the physical space offered should be

contain two characteristics: that it be “prepared and also relaxed”; the latter depends basically on the attitude of the accompanying adults.

It is known that each organism contains in its DNA its genetic information, which is valuable and unique, and which becomes its “internal guide”. Therefore, in order to grow and mature, human beings follow their own rhythm, based on the principle of life: “the interaction of organisms with the environment is from the inside out”; Humberto Maturana calls this constant activity between organism and environment “structural coupling”. This way of being, in simpler language, is equivalent to “being active”. In humans, growth is reflected in intense play – spontaneous-autonomous activity – which allows them to understand how the physical world works naturally.

Therefore, for optimal maturation, the human being requires yes or, yes:

  • ● space prepared according to the needs of the stage.

  • ● empathetic attitude on the part of the adults with whom he/she lives.

  • ● stimuli -objects-.

  • ● clear frame of reference and

  • ● rhythm -dynamics or structure- in the organization of the day. Care is taken to ensure that the guidelines indicated work for all stages of life and it is essential that they are permanent, because they are flexible and provide security and well-being.

    On the contrary, I observed that, when a person does not feel satisfied in his essential needs, he assumes “inappropriate behaviors” in appearance, because he activates the defense system to cope or evade, thus protecting himself and using his bioenergy to block the inappropriate experience and thus protect the integrity of the self.

    Another vital element that contributes to social relations is love, which in practice is related to respecting the individuality of each of the family members, which is complex, considering that each one has his or her own needs and qualities. In this sense, “love is accepting the other as he/she is”. As long as his or her heart is listened to: pain, anger, sadness, joy, jealousy; he or she, at any age, will have experiences of acceptance, of feeling loved, because he or she is allowed to express emotions in his or her own way, as long as he or she does not harm himself or herself or others.

    In short, confidence and inner strength in each one of us is a consequence of giving and receiving love and respect, which contributes to nourish the emotional membranes, and we acquire the ability to self-manage our own emotions in order to be available to relate to others, which is known in the media as emotional intelligence.

    Now it is up to us to locate the common space -home-, because with our own daily activities, we may or may not be affecting each other.
    For example, when:

    • ● you enter a personal space without communicating,

    • ● you take someone else’s things without asking their permission,

    • ● an activity is abruptly interrupted,

    • ● the same object or attention is wanted at the same time, among the most frequent.

      Enough reasons why it is necessary to talk among all of us about what we like and what we don’t like, in order to recognize the essential needs of each one and reach agreements among all of us.

      A useful tool in communication is to have rules, agreements and consequences, which are congruent, when these referents are clear they work surprisingly well. Sometimes physical, demarcated or written boundaries will be required, for example: sharing a bedroom, if this is the case, it can even be physically delimited with a piece of furniture, a rug, a rope, etcetera. It also helps to post small signs: “enter without shoes”, “organic and inorganic garbage”, “no physical or verbal aggression”, “leave toys in their place”, “respect personal space”, “knock before entering”, etcetera.

      We recommend that for a respectful communication, first take into account the eye contact with the person who asks for it, at the moment he/she needs it; this avoids that he/she gets anxious or anxious and calls repeatedly and even shouting, because maybe he/she thinks and feels that he/she is not listened to. If it is not possible to serve you when you ask for it, you are still seen and clearly told to wait, so that when it is possible to serve your need.

      Compulsory confinement showed us that in coexistence we are faced with two situations: an opportunity to reorganize within the family, taking into account the needs of all members, that is, that the home is a space where we learn to live together in harmony. Otherwise, by continuing to automatically reproduce customs that they do not respect, what happens is that it does not favor the cultivation of trust and openness to change.

      Hence the importance of having a harmonious environment, so that everyone can make contact with himself, with his needs and in turn make decisions from his heart, to live life with passion, so we will be able to reinvent ourselves and provide happiness.

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