Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm Fine But Not Really

     There is nothing more untrue in an interaction between partners than those pretty words "I'm fine". We all know that it is a not so subtle way to say I am really upset. Being "fine"is both a way to say, I don't want to talk and please help me. It's no wonder we are all so confused.
     Picture yourself as a 4 year old that has sucked in a deep breath and puffed out his chest. You are going to hold your breath until... what? What do I mean when my response to her asking what's wrong is to boldly declare "Nothing"? 
     We want to be understood, comforted, and made to feel worthwhile and safe. At the same time we are almost certain that they don't want to or just will not be there for us. It is the perfect avoidance. We can set up a situation where no one can win. If our partner tries to talk with us we can keep our distance and if they don't try to talk with us we can claim that they didn't care in the first place. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thoughts on "The Pit"

Remember when you were a kid and you found your favorite toy missing or stolen. There is a sinking feeling and panic following it. This is the beginning of the pit. That place we go to when we are afraid, panicked, lonely, angry, confused, and sad. It's like stepping in quicksand. Each of us have dark places and comforting places. Circumstances seem to push us in one direction or the other. Feelings of loss, pain, anger, confusion, abandonment, and alienation, etc. will pull us down into the darkness. Whereas, feelings of hope, joy, love, acceptance, understanding, and belonging will lift us up toward the light place. It is this tightrope we have walked our whole lives. 

We are like circus performers a hundred feet up flying through the air and performing amazing feats. Yet at every new turn there is the possibility that we will fall. When we fall do we disappoint the crowd?  Do we let down our team? Did perhaps, the team let us down? Did we get pushed or jump? Is there a net?