Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Letting People Matter

Have you ever experienced a relationship where your partner said again and again that s/he loved you, yet left easily, and in a heartbeat without looking back? This kind of experience leaves the one left behind feeling confused, hurt, angry, shocked and just plain displaced.

If a loved one is able to leave that easily without remorse, it suggests that they were not entirely attached to their loved one. If someone is truly emotionally attached to a loved one, they cannot leave in the blink of an eye. Leaving would create great pain, and a sense of profound loss which they can anticipate emotionally,and as a result, they are far more motivated to work through emotional difficulties to make a relationship work.

Truly loving someone means letting the person matter. Many avoid this depth of heart opening and intimacy, because losing a loved one from this depth of attachment creates tremendous pain. So, many people protect their hearts and never let themselves open into full emotional attachment, and therefore, never truly let their loved one really matter.

Many people suffer from attachment disorders. Many people have had parents who cannot open into full emotional attachment with their children. As a result they experience chaotic attachment, where sometimes the parent seems to love them, be present to them, be with them, pay attention to them or listen to them, and other times, the parent is not present, is self-absorbed, in unfairly angry at the child, does not pay attention to the child, does not listen to or hear them or overpowers the child with their own wants and needs. If we have not had the experience of a secure, constant, deep emotional attachment when we are young, it is very scary and difficult, if not impossible, to build a secure, constant, deep emotional attachment as an adult.

Letting someone matter requires have a sense of depth and security within our own heart. We need the room in our hearts to let someone in and hold them in the moment and over time. Choosing to MAKE someone matter through conscious actions and thoughts takes a sense of consciousness and a strength of heart. Conscious thoughts and actions, regular rhythms of communication, and regular times together accented through healthy times apart help create a container that holds both the relationship and both people in the relationship.

This kind of container is needed to give space for both the relationship and the people in the relationship to grow. It is a sad paradox that many people are afraid to get boxed into a relationship for fear of losing their freedom and not being able to grow, when in actually, a healthy container holding a relationship allows for both connection and independence, and ultimately personal and relational growth.

When relationships are treated less consciously and intentionally and more randomly, the relational container has holes that leak out energy and the individuals and the relationship may not feel as safe, solid or held.

When people come from backgrounds that lack emotional constancy, there may be comfort in the familiarity of chaos and a fear of the constancy/commitment of a stable, lovig bond. Being able to develop and sustain intimacy requires a sense of trust,constancy and connection that is nurtured through actions and invested time.
If this is unfamiliar, we need experiences that introduce us to the reality that true intimacy, while vulnerable, can also be safe, nurturing and secure.

To really love someone is to both LET them matter, and to act in such a way that you MAKE them matter.

Copyright 2011 Linda Marks

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