What can we learn from our relationships

“We get hurt in relationships. And we heal in relationships.”

We need human connection. We are wired to connect, and to be in community – to live in a community, rely on and support each other. We are feeling the best when we can help those who need it. Have you ever experienced that when you were feeling a little bit blue, helping somebody who genuinely needed help, lifted up your mood?

Systemic constellations helped me to better understand our unique role within a group. Whether we feel fully engaged or rather on the edge, they are all equally important. Just like puzzle pieces – whether they are at the edges or in the middle, they are equally important. Individually they can be of a nice colour or shape. But you see their importance when you look at them as a whole. They reveal the image when looked at from afar.

When we join a group we tend to be naturally gravitated toward the role that we occupy in our family system. The family is the first system we are part of. This is where we learn about attachment, love amongst many other things – often subconsciously. We remember it implicitly (can’t recall it but our physiology remembers it) and we transfer these memories into different relationships. Attachment is part of our basic human needs we develop as children.

4 Attachment styles

How does this knowledge help me?

We can be more aware of our actions and the motivation behind them. We can experience different attachment forms in different relationships. When I mention Relationships don’t think only of relationships with other human beings, but also the relationship with yourselves, the events in your life…

For example:

When something makes you angry or fearful – you can ask:

Where is this anger/fear coming from? Who does it belong to? What lies within my control and what lies beyond my control?

By challenging our reaction we shine light on the hidden motivation behind them, the hidden dynamics. Systemic Constellations can help you reveal these dynamics. Once you see it, accept it (or just remove judgement) and then the next step will reveal itself and you can decide whether you are ready to take it or you need a little more time before action.

Why relationships – community?

Imagine living on a top of a mountain in complete separation from the world. You meditate daily, you feel that you have mastered the inner peace (the peace Master Chifu talks about in Kungfu Panda :)) You think you mastered it. Then one day comes someone and his behaviour triggers some deep wounds in you. Wounds that you thought you’d already dealt with. 

As Esther Perel (therapist) said in one of her interviews  we can learn about ourself only in relation to another person.

How do you expect to learn or change something when you don’t know what is it that’s need changing? 

It is never easy to see our shadows, but they are here to teach us. If there was always sunshine we would stop appreciating it and would take it for granted. Then comes the rain, that refreshes the air, waters the dry soils and nourishes nature. Sunshine and rain, they are both essential for life. Just like our connection to others helps us to see what needs more attention in us and also to see the beauty in us. We are all connected via an invisible cord.

Healing relationships?

Probably most of us experienced heartbreak, when for some reason(s) the relationship didn’t go the way we wished and we got hurt. Maybe we were treated badly, cheated on and this led to us losing trust and not allowing ourself to fully immerse in a new blooming relationship. We are avoiding the emotional intimacy. We put up a wall, despite the fact we would like to really connect. We got hurt in a relationship and understandably we don’t want to go through the experience again. We are wounded. 

Can you guess which attachment type I have just described?

However, our wound can be healed only in relation to other people. You will notice it, if you allow the people who enter your life with love and care. The change in your attitude can clear the way for happiness to come in. Go as far as it is comfortable for you.

You don’t need to find happiness. It comes to you when you are connected with yourself. You only need to recognise when it’s there and embrace it.

So what can we learn from our relationships?

A lot. They can help us to see our wounds that need our attention. They can help us heal these wounds. They can help us to reconnect with ourselves and see the beauty what is in every single one of us.

Probably this is not the most conventional way of looking at the attachment patterns. I believe that the knowledge we gain in different fields and areas, allows us to discover a unique and new way of looking at the world. Instead of keeping the knowledge separately, start intertwining it. 

Hold on to your vision but don’t shy away when it is a little bit murky. Rain clouds don’t stay forever.

Written by Petra J.

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