Why do our relationships really matter? What is a healthy relationship that ignites your motivation and helps you to soar like an eagle? To answer these questions and more, let’s embark on a short trip in the world of relationships.
As young versions of ourselves we yearn for security, safety, and connection. We are hardwired to survive; that’s why we instantly begin to map our direct and indirect environment assessing risks and concluding what level of vulnerability and openness can we utilize. We observe and notice and gradually learn to trust some people and avoid others. Our young brains internalize and record events and interactions creating certain neural pathways for connections. Some of them would become the foundation of healthy relationships based on belonging and mutual support while others alienate us. In case we have been fortunate with support and care we end up confident and interdependent. Otherwise, our brains learn to be on the edge; hypervigilant, dysregulated, and/or avoidant.
Nonetheless, such patterns may change along the journey of socialization. At home, school and later on we continue to assess levels of trust and healthy connections. However, the very same neural pathways and cognitions gained throughout early years continue to affect our relationships in various ways. We continue to record events and experiences that provide us with cognitive and emotional maps of how to feel, what to expect, how to behave. We base the assessment of current relationships on the past and build future ones based on the current ones. We project on others, and others respond based on their own maps maintaining suffering between couples, families, friends and even at work.
So how can we break such vicious cycles and begin to repair towards resolution and reconciliation? How can we really create this intention of “That’s enough?” This is the most important insight “intention”. I notice the breakthrough that many clients experience once we visit intentions.
To help the readers to visit their own intentions I recommend that you begin with scanning your overall life satisfaction. Rate it in every single are of your life, then figure out which area you want to focus on. For example, you might notice that you have recently been dragging yourself to work. You are not content anymore and only show up for the paycheck. Fair enough! The next step would be to take couple of days off work to distance yourself from the daily hassle. Spend some time on your own or (if possible) with a close friend or even a professional. Practice self-compassion and begin to ask yourself a series of “Why” questions. Explore the root of such diminished motivation and faded passion. You will be surprised to find out that such dissatisfaction might have roots in a very early experience. Process your event and explore perceptions of self, and others. Explore your yearnings and unmet needs.
A word of caution is necessary here, begin such exercises with self-compassion and curiosity. Validate your fears, your unresolved insecurities and stay away from judgement and blame. Remind yourself of your strengths and all the resources that have helped you along the way. Write down a list of all these resources whether they were/are internal or external. Have fun in the process to come up with a sincere intention to change the status quo into something you yourself want for yourself. You deserve to surround yourself with safe, supportive environment, and healthy relationships at home, or anywhere else.
Best wishes towards a life full of meaning and healthy connections.
Ola is a Registered Clinical Counsellor offering a holistic approach to healthy relationships, life transformation and fulfillment.