For those growing up with generational trauma, attachment can be a tricky thing. Insecure attachment develops when we don’t get our needs met early on in life. We develop attachment patterns that reflect anxiety or avoidance.
In adults, anxious attachment shows up when we feel we aren’t getting our relationship needs met. We become easily frustrated and reactive when we perceive our partner doesn’t care for us. What happens to you when she doesn’t answer your texts or calls? What does it feel like to be the one who is more emotionally invested? How personally do you take it?
Avoidant attachment shows up as a lack of desire to depend on anyone for anything and a belief that you can do it all on your own. You might come home to a partner who feels neglected and upset that you aren’t prioritizing the relationship. Facing that disappointment doesn’t make it any easier to try and connect with your partner, and the pattern of avoidance is perpetuated.
If you come from an insecure attachment style, one of the most reparative things you can do for yourself is choose a partner who is secure. How will you know if someone has a secure attachment style?
- They are available-they show up for you consistently
- They are accessible-when they are here, they are really here and easy to reach
- They are responsive-when they know what your needs are, they try to meet them
- They are vulnerable-they show a willingness to share from the heart space
Our brains have mirror neurons, so what we see in our most primary relationships, we reflect back. How powerful is that?
My belief is that cultivating a loving relationship with ourselves is the best thing we can do to learn the bonds of safe attachment. This spiritual approach honors the goodness inside of us and allows us to nurture ourselves in ways we might not have gotten from our primary caregivers. Where do you begin?
- Pay attention-bring loving awareness to your life and notice how you feel when you engage in different behaviors (what is the energy you feel when you gossip, eat junk food, binge on TV vs. when you choose your words lovingly, eat healthy foods, and get outdoors)
- Validate your own emotions-when you attend and befriend, you learn to connect the emotional dots to their triggers, deepening emotional intelligence
- Set boundaries-get comfortable knowing and communicating your limits
- Enrich your life-take a night class, sign up for a race, read a new book, or try anything that will challenge and encourage you to grow
You could be surprised by the depth and richness of your inner resources.
There is joy in bringing yourself and others more love and safety. With the wisdom of the beginner’s mind, you can teach yourself to commit to safe attachment.