Nature and Nurture – Not Necessarily the Same

I watched a 20/20 episode this week about a woman who hid 5 pregnancies and abandoned 4 of her children.  These children were found and subsequently adopted by good families.  What struck me about this story is that all the children ended up with nurturing parents, but the woman that gave birth to them never nurtured them.  This story touched me in so many ways.

I was not born into a nurturing environment.  My father passed away when I was 27 and I am estranged from my mother for multiple reasons.  I left home when I was 18 to start my life and escape the dysfunctional surroundings I found myself in.  During my adult journey I met a woman named Sharon.  I interviewed her to babysit my sweet baby girl.  As time went by Sharon and I formed a friendship, she was 15 years my senior.  When my daughter was 3 years old my husband and I moved to Pennsylvania.  However, Sharon and I talked every week until her death in 2009.  She was the guiding light I needed in my adult life.  She nurtured and guided me and helped me heal wounds so I could be a better parent to my child.    Whenever parenting seemed overwhelming I would call her and she knew just what to say to calm me and engage my logic and calm my emotion to whatever situation arose. I considered her my adult mother.  She gave me the emotional care I was seeking   I tell this story because I believe we come into this world with the biological parents and DNA we are supposed to have for our journey.  Some are lucky enough to get nature and nurture in the same set of parents. But I suspect a fair percentage of us do not receive the nurturing we need to successfully navigate our adult life and form healthy adult relationships.  I believe God already is aware of this situation and therefore brings the people we need to help us heal.  It is our responsibility to recognize these people and absorb the lessons needed to move forward.  Sharon was one of these people.

If you are reading this and cannot identify with not being nurtured by a parent consider yourself very lucky to have this wonderful relationship with your parents as it is a gift.  But, if this does resonate with you, just think about the people that have come and continue to come into your life.  I bet at least one of them has had a profound, positive effect on your life.  I continue to heal to this day and will always be a work in progress.  I will always be grateful for Sharon and the many gifts she gave me in my life.




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