Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you"
A. A. Milne.
I found this lovely quote from A. A. Milne recently, and it spoke to me of the magic of secure attachment. It puts me in mind of a young child, off out exploring a new space, and coming frequently back to their caregiver to stock up on connection before venturing out again. Of them wanting the reassurance of knowing they are supported, and this enabling them to be brave and free, secure in their interdependence.
We have these same checking-in habits as adults. We are social animals, we do not operate well in a vacuum. We seek connection and contact naturally, and it affects us emotionally and physically. Even people with the most introverted preference will find they sometimes benefit from contact with others, as the protracted lock-downs have for many of us shown.
Currently we may not be able to sidle up to those we love from behind, but we can check in with them. We can look each other in the eye (even through a computer screen), and we can take time to be fully present with each other, even if just for a few moments. We can express by our behaviour that we are here, and we care, and in turn feel this same love returned to us.
In that moment of connection, we see not only the other, but our own self reflected back. We deepen our sense of who we are in relationship with others, after all, it was in relationship that we initially developed and became the person we are today. Relationships continue to shape and develop us throughout life, and we can work with our patterns of relating at any time.
Relationship can be a setting in which we encounter old wounds and difficulties, with them showing up most strongly in our most intimate relationships. Each time they come up, they offer us the opportunity to heal. It’s like spirit waking up, a part of us wondering out loud if we are ready to transcend the painful pattern yet. We can take the invitation and try something new, or we can repeat the patterns of the past and await the next invitation, which in time will surely come.
If there are relational patterns in your life that you would like to work with, then perhaps psychotherapy is for you. If you want to explore working online, then get in touch confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 01325 730021.