Sue frantically tries to reach John through words, emotions and body language. One moment, she reaches out to him lovingly and patiently, the next she gets angry. Nothing seems to penetrate his stoic and unemotional wall. Neither touch, nor loving words, nor angry ones, nor tears, make a difference. Sue and John are caught in a pattern, a vicious cycle.
Figuratively speaking, everyone has an inner “Love Bank”. When somebody is associated with good feelings, “love units” are deposited into those emotional accounts, and when he or she is associated with painful experiences, love units are withdrawn. Hurtful experiences with others trigger our nervous system into fight, flight or freeze. Those experiences of being triggered into fight or flight put strain on a relationship. The concept of the love bank helps us to understand how to make sure painful experiences are balanced out with experiences of safety and love.
What does non-attachment or healthy detachment actually mean? A common misconception is that it means “not to care”. True non-attachment is loving and compassionate but without expectations. How does that non-attachment look in our busy lives?
Have you ever wondered whether your partner is “just not a good match” for you? Is there such a thing as the perfect match? In a close loving relationship we re-create our old unresolved hurts and we receive an opportunity to work through those wounds.
It can be challenging to respond to criticism without defensiveness and to stay open to hearing the complaint underneath. Being criticized can shift our autonomic nervous system into defense mode as if we are being attacked. What techniques can we use to remain open and to hear the complaint or longing underneath the other person’s criticism?
We cannot emotionally complete our past until we are aware of our patterns, habits and beliefs. Without uncovering them, we bring our emotional baggage into the next relationship and repeat the same patterns and issues. The first practical step to achieve clarity is to examine our relationship history.
Why do we often live one relationship after the next with the same patterns and issues? The reason for that is that we don’t learn how to grieve and complete relationships that end and therefore we carry the unresolved emotions forward into the future.
It is quite easy to see “going with a flow” as a call to inactivity, waiting for things to fall into our lap, or making the choice not to make a choice. But that is not what the spiritual principle is about.
The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver, and using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he’d told her was empty…
Is it good to get your negative feelings out? Or does venting have a negative side-effect for our relationship? Positive flooding is a way to re-pattern our brain from feeling unsafe with our partner to feeling loved.