I’m not a person who automatically (or easily) feels safe in relationships. The closer I let people comes, the more ‘danger’ my nervous system perceives – or imagines.
It’s called insecure attachment (in my case: both anxious and avoidant strategies with the balance usually tilting more towards anxious).
It means, for me, that when I let someone close I get triggered in my old beliefs of not being lovable, that people close to me will abandon me, that I’m actually a burden in their lives. My system is constantly looking for clues to prove its ideas.
Relating is hard work that takes courage for many of us.
One tool that has helped me a lot is this one:
CHECK YOUR REALITY.
When my loved ones don’t respond to my texts, is it true that they are ignoring me or not finding me important? Or are they simply busy with something else, or taking time to answer with full focus?
When my loved ones aren’t available for meeting me when I desire, is that because I’m low on their list of priorities? Or did they make an effort to create time in their busy schedules for me as they want to be with me?
When I feel their gaze is distant and believe it means they want to tell me they want to break up with me, do I know if this isn’t my projection and actually they didn’t sleep well or just had an intense phone call?
The most valuable tool I know to debunk my distorted stories and teach my nervous system about safe relating is to check my perceived ‘reality’ with the reality of my loved ones. Again and again and again.
It takes time to rewire a nervous system. To teach a brain that experiences from the past are not the present.
Holding my tender heart
I have taught myself to share vulnerably with my loved ones what is going on in my head, without blaming them. Just sharing my emotions. And asking them their side of the story. Holding my heart, holding my dear sensitive system and learning how far off the truth I often am.
I learn to create a distance between my perceived reality and what is really going on, so I can breathe deeply and ask myself: “Are my thoughts true, or am I trying to prove an old believe I don’t want to hold on to?”
And become more secure in relating.