There isn’t any time or experience in a young child’s life, beginning with conception, that doesn’t matter. Am I safe? Am I really seen, appreciated and respected for who I am this moment? Do I feel connected with people who care about what is happening to me? Do I trust that their response is the most appropriate to meet my need right now?  These are the implicit questions that every child asks every moment. If the answer is yes, the fears, frustrations and painful events that occur every day are dissolved by an overarching feeling that everything is or will soon be OK. If the answer is no, the scary feelings, the frustrations and pain etch deeply and leave their imprint on every cell in the body. In our featured insight Gabor Mate, MD., calls this imprint ‘early childhood loss.’ Later in life when we get sick, are violent, rape, are scattered, when our relationships fail and find ourselves addicted we think these are current events and fail to see that our adult dysfunctions began with early childhood loss. What is most significant about this insight is that our intellectual armor prevents us and even the professional community from actually perceiving the true source of our personal and social dysfunction and suffering. Everything matters.

Michael Mendizza