Relationships: How We Connect

How comfortable are you reaching out for support?  How do you address conflict and repair relationships?  This is what makes a healthy relationship.  Our mother’s womb is our first connection in this life and depending on how welcoming a space it is will be a determining factor in our ability to give and receive in our relationships.

We emerge from our families with a blueprint of how to Give and Receive Love.

As we bond with our parents we are building a matrix for how to engage with others and develop meaningful relationship.  This changes as we grow but an underlying pattern develops.  This strengthens or compromises our ability to be connected to our feelings and know how to self soothe.  If you grew up in a frightening or chaotic environment you often grow into an adult who has a difficulty understanding your own emotions and the feelings of other people.  It’s a barrier to building and sustaining healthy relationships.    

Beliefs

We may feel a sense of lack:  a belief of not having enough love to give.  That belief can foster the delusion of being unlovable, unloved or cut off from love.  Or, that there might not be enough for us.  Feeling unloved ourselves, we pass on our sense of lack so that even when we reach out to love… make connections, what comes through instead is fear, neediness or desperation.

Attachment Styles

We’re unique and so are our attachment bonds. Parents do not have to be perfect or always in tune but it helps if they’re emotionally available.

  1. SECURE:   create meaningful relationships + bonds.  Empathetic and able to set boundaries.  
  2. AVOIDENT:  avoid closeness or emotional connection + can be distant, critical and rigid.     
  3. AMBIVALENT:   anxious + insecure.  Can be charming, unpredictable and erratic, blaming and controlling. 
  4. DISORGANIZED:   a little chaotic, insensitive, explosive, abusive + untrusting of others even while craving security.  Disorganized includes some or all of the above. 

Navigating

Even healthy relationships have problems.  People make mistakes.  What happens next?  Do we run, avoid issues and pretend nothing happened?  Then it is unlikely to develop a healthy and safe connection.  If we always agree on everything there is the reality of moving into a fantasy where there is no room to grow and evolve a healthy real relationship.  

Mistakes happen.  Misunderstandings occur.  If we acknowledge it and look to work it out it’s an opportunity to build trust and intimacy.  Do you value the connection?  Each time you work through issues you deepen the connection you share and better equipped to deal with future issues.  As in attachment bonding styles you don’t have to be perfect, only need to be willing, available, and sensitive.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being aware and focusing on the present moment, calmly accepting our feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.  It improves our ability to go into our inner life and be aware and present.  Now and then we all get stuck in patterns of negative thinking or destructive behaviour, detrimental to ourselves and those around us.  

Developing a mindfulness practice can deepen your connection to who you are and will improve the strength of your connections and relationships.


 

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