“It is just amazing how we follow patterns we created until "reality" bumps into us and forces us to reconsider the current validity of those extraordinary early beliefs, that served us well to survive and grow, but now can be let go of” Daniele Wichene
When we are young, we develop patterns of believe and systems of thinking that help us to make sense of our world. Particularly in our early years, we have no capacity to question whether these thoughts and beliefs are rational or reasonable, we simply take on what is happening around us as our normal, and we form our beliefs about all sorts of things, including love and relationships, on this basis.
For some, this means growing up with the beliefs that we are safe, that love is a pleasurable experience, that we are loveable, and that we can trust people, and explore the world without fear. These beliefs are the basis of a secure attachment pattern, and they make it easy for us to enter into intimate relationships feeling worthy, and equal.
For others, this means growing up with the knowledge that we are not safe, and that love can be dangerous, or smothering. We may grow up with a sense that we are not good enough, or worthy of love, or that there is something wrong with us. Then, we may develop insecure attachment styles, perhaps clinging to people, or staying distant, or even swinging between the two without really knowing why.
It is important to know that whatever beliefs we developed, at the time they were created they served an important function. For example, a belief that with love comes abuse may have been necessary for a child to continue loving their parent. It may have the benefit as the child ages into adulthood of allowing them to experience love and not deaden to it, but with the unfortunate side effect of meaning they continue to experience abuse or dysfunction as the price they unconsciously sense needs to be paid to receive love. Or, the belief that love calls us to give up our own sense of self and take on the thoughts and beliefs of another may lead to an adulthood of disappearing into relationships where the individual can not express their authentic self, believing they can not exist in separation from the object of their love.
Honouring early beliefs for their important survival function is essential, if we are then to grow past them and develop new beliefs that serve us better in the here and now. An important tenet of healing is that no part is left behind, that everything in the system is honoured, and that wholeness is the goal.
To explore relational patterns in your life and how they show up in the here and now, get in touch.