This is just wonderful… please read.
We come into this world as a whole and are gradually split into parts of a whole.
It can be as innocuous as family members looking at a newborn baby and discussing which parts of the baby belong to which parent.
“Oh, he has his mother’s eyes!”
“She has her father’s smile!”
“He has his grandfather’s chin dimple!”
“She has her grandmother’s hair!”
We’re not really sure how much the baby understands of what is being said about it, and how it perceives this attention. Perhaps it just registers the attention as affection and feels loved. Or perhaps it picks up on something else, a sense that it is made up of separate parts and none of them belong to it, they belong to others.
These comparisons and ownership of pieces of self continue throughout our childhood and into our adulthood, expanding from our physical self into other areas.
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