Relationships: No Easy Road
Of one thing we can be certain - human beings are hard wired to do three things and American Psychologist Rick Hanson offers an easy way to understand this:
Firstly he says we avoid danger to keep ourselves safe; secondly we approach others to form relationship; and finally we bond and form attachments. In short we AVOID, APPROACH and ATTACH. This seems a simple dynamic and can be the source of peace, happiness and creativity, but also a great deal of suffering as is often expressed in popular culture.
For some being near others is so terrifying it feels impossible to approach? Others still are able to approach but can’t trust as attaching feels too risky. In his famous song ‘Feel’, Robbie Williams sings about such confusion: "Before I fall in love I’m planning to leave her".
We suffer when we make attachments we can’t let go of, even though they are destructive, or when we make attachments but become consumed by them and disappear as an individual. It’s so painful to approach another to be rejected, or to attach to be betrayed?
Relationships do not come pain free. Doing them well is a life’s journey. To transform bad relationships into good ones it takes time, courage and an honest look at the deep rooted beliefs we have about ourselves, others and the world.
"Come and hold my hand, I wanna contact the living", sings Williams; an echo of a call in each of us. "There’s a hole in my soul. You can see it in my face, It’s a real big place".
"Come to me" he says. "I need to be held! I don’t want to be afraid". When the heart freezes over we need others for warmth.
‘Not sure I understand
this role I've been given
I sit and talk to God
and he just laughs at my plans
my head speaks a language
I don't understand’
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