I have come to the realisation that there is a direct association between our ability to love and be loved and the courage to be emotionally vulnerable and to trust that our vulnerability will not be exploited or misused. So when we lack that courage or when we, for what ever reason, lack that trust, then love fades.

On a very basic level; as fear rises, love subsides. So we can see love and fear as opposite ends of a seesaw configuration. For some reason some of us have a stable equilibrium, love and fear find a balance, but others fluctuate wildly, swinging from one to the other and back again

This can often be explained by episodes of high stress in the early nurturing years; as the brain is developing it’s pathways between the control centres of the prefrontal cortex and the primitive amygdala. During stress, the body is flooded by high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) This impedes or halts the development process and can permanently alter brain development and to some extent can permanently limit inter brain communications. One of the most important pathways is between the anterior cingulate and the amygdala. The anterior cingulate is one of the most important brain parts in regulating emotions, fear response and impulse control. The anterior cingulate doesn’t fully develop until the age of 2 or 3 years old. If, during the early nurturing years, the brain is subject to high levels or cortisol, especially over prolonged periods, the anterior cingulate has been shown to be considerably smaller than in infants that have had a secure early life attachment with a loving caregiver, without noticable trauma.

this is a major contributing factor towards many of the “mental dysfunctions” that we have to deal with in adult human society.