I was hiking today and no one was around. I was noticing my surroundings as I also noticed my thoughts. A thought came up about my attachment style. Recently, as I worked with my therapist, she used the term “ambivalent” attachment. Now, I know what that term means in my mind. I am trained in counseling and psychology. When I studied in school I gave higher or lesser values for the different attachment styles. I’ve worked with several therapists and with no one else have they mentioned attachment styles to me, or what mine might be. As she said it to me, it was one of those pregnant moments where I was open to hearing it and she says it in such an unassuming way that it just IS. It isn’t good, it isn’t bad, it just is. It’s my style. It’s my wounding from my childhood. It is okay.
In this empowerment series, it’s important that I communicate, to myself and to you, that feeling and being empowered isn’t about being perfect or without wounding or pain. Being and feeling empowered is about knowing you have choice about how you respond to your pain, wounding or imperfection.
I’m ambivalent in my relationships. I feel caution when I am getting close to someone; caution because I have been hurt before. Someone very close to me was not always there for me, in the way I needed someone to be there. In my formative years, I learned that when I feel pain, the person I thought would be there, was not. I learned that people who told me they loved me, also hurt me. So, I learned to be cautious. That people who say they love me, will also hurt me and leave me alone with my pain. It is okay that I do this. It was how I protected myself, I’m not good or bad for doing it, I just am.
As I have gotten older, I have explored my pain and want to change some patterns so that I may experience less pain. I agree with Don Miguel Ruiz who says that we are artists and our lives are our art. My life is art, whether I feel pain or not, whether I learn another attachment style or not. But it is my choice. I am empowered because I have awareness what my pattern is and what pain I experience because of it. We are victims when we say other people are causing our pain and think we do not have a choice. We are empowered when we see we have choice. Sometimes I know that I am reacting out of a pain pattern and I choose to be empowered and watch myself do it, even if it feels excruciating and I am not skilled enough yet at making a different choice. I still watch myself react in that pain pattern. I build awareness about the pattern. Being empowered is not always making what we think is the perfect choice, it’s having awareness that we even have choices. It is like building a muscle; our awareness muscle. Once your muscle gets strong enough, you start choosing how you will react in any given situation; you are not simply acting out your pain pattern because you do not know anything different.
Happy travels to you on your empowerment journey and building your muscle of awareness. If you like this empowerment series and are curious about working with me, schedule a free 15 minute phone consult and we can chat about what pain patterns you would like to shift.
Stay tuned for more musings on empowerment.