The Biggest Inhibitors To Intimacy
Each of us have (or have had) a major behavior, pattern, mindset that, at one point in our lives, kept us safe and protected and may have even served in helping us to receive and keep love (usually from our primary caretakers).
As evolving adults, the patterns that worked to keep us "safe" as children usually don't serve the evolving nature of our relationships.
Many of us, until we learn to question said behavior, continue to play out the same patterns in our relationships, and wonder why life feels like the movie "Groundhog Day," where we keep re-living the same day over and over again, feeling like we've gone a little crazy.
These protective behaviors range from getting defensive, deflecting conflict, denying your own or your partner's experience, projecting your experience onto your partner (or vice versa), or not taking radical responsibility for your contribution to a conflict or not being present with your needs or your partner's needs.
Just the other day, I realized that I've been living in the fear of being "taken advantage of," being abandoned, and losing love...so much so, that I've felt the need to defend myself at every turn, in a desperate attempt to avoid punishment and being perceived as "imperfect."
The ancient part of my brain says: if I'm "imperfect" it means that I'll lose love and be abandoned...hello, mommy & daddy issues!
I've noticed that when this happens, I go into a FREEZE response. My nervous system gets hijacked and I feel completely shut down -- emotionless, stoic, and blank.
So, what's one to do in this state, or even in a state of fight or flight?
Make sure you feel safe -- physically, emotionally, mentally. If you don't find a place that does feel safe, i.e. physically relocate yourself and/or ask for space from those around you
Move the body -- move your body in a way that let's some of the stuck energy flow, i.e. stretch your arms out, shake, jump, or curl into fetal position
Breathe -- take slow deep breaths to signal to the body that you're safe
Place your hands on your body -- allow your body to feel the warmth and presence of your own touch, give yourself a big hug
Ask for help -- if there's someone you trust to support you in moments of conflict, reach out to them; we do some of our deepest healing when in community and connection with others
*Note: this is what works well for me. The above is not a replacement for seeking professional help, but simply another approach in the process of self-facilitation when it feels safe to do so.*
While this may all seem a bit intense, I've come to find that we're all just little kids walking around in adult bodies and that it's super helpful for us to have simple, yet powerful tools to let our inner children know that they're safe, protected, and loved.
So, from my inner little girl to your inner kid, I LOVE YOU!
Here's to you seeing yourself in Truth and Love and cultivating the most epic love in all of your relationships!