March/April Blog; Kay’s Counselling… Easter Time ahead, some researchers, so I have read, believe that Jesus was born during the month of March and not 25 December as is celebrated around the globe. If this were true, would it make any difference to the way we celebrate his birth? It certainly would our pockets!
Are personal beliefs imortant? The quality of our beliefs does this determine the kind of person we are? what we have in store for society and for the world we live in. It is important to note that one’s beliefs are entirely a question of his/her personal preference. As with the choices we make in life and the way in which we interpret our own values, some of which are naturally were learned during childhood. You may have heard of John Bowlby https://explorable.com/bowlby-attachment-theory, how we as children form our bonds through adult/parent attachments, these can be critical to the attachments which are formed over time throughout our lives. A natural secure foundation is said to enable us to learn how to sort things out for ourselves. These are not person specific, as bonds are formed at differing stages of our growth.
One thing that we can all agree on, is that the quality of our relationships has a huge impact on how satisfied and happy we are in our lives. On the flip side, when our relationships aren’t going well, or when we feel we are repeating the same mistakes over and over again, we can feel helpless, overwhelmed, frustrated and despairing for the future. A good way to start to address this issue is to look closer at our attachment style. This idea has been around for a very long time and is considered the foundation for ourselves as counsellors in the way we listen to the ‘stories’ of our clients. Its the way we relate to others and who the important people are in our lives.
There are generally three categories of attachments’ secure (where you feel comfortable in relationships), anxious (you may feel stressed out by relationships and feeling insecure), and lastly there’s the dismissing types (where you might avoid relationships or appear cold or aloof) all three are only a guide to the huge research that is undertaken in this field. There is another category that we call ‘mixed’, which is a combination of dismissing and anxious — a person can be, clingy, but at times also cold and dismissing, depending on the situation.
We can all experience some of these feelings throughout life, in our work, relationship, friendship attachments. But our attachment style is based on our experiences early on in life, and the type of care we received from our parent(s) significant others. If for instance there may not have been much warmth or your family was more an ‘arms length’ kind of family, you may be dismissing (unworthy, sent away) — if you had a lot of disruption or people leaving, you might be more the anxious type. If the people that you had in your life growing up were unpredictable or frightening, you might be more of the ‘mixed’ attachment style — because you’ve received conflicting messages about what you can expect from the people close to you.
People who have had positive relationships throughout life will often be securely attached, but there are some exceptions. For example, if you’ve had a really difficult and challenging romantic relationship, with lots of breaches of trust or on again, off again experiences, you might have developed an anxious or mixed attachment style because of this. Similarly, if you’ve had a really good and solid relationship where you felt safe and secure, it may have ‘healed’ an anxious or dismissing attachment style.
Easter during my childhood was always a mixed experience with significant persons’ sending out mixed messages. At times throughout my life it left me feeling anxious, that pit of the stomach feeling, especially if you don’t celebrate it the way others expect of you. But I learnt through my life journey that just doing ‘small’ things around celebrations, have had an uplifting sort of feeling. Life’s journey can be a forever learning experience, and that what sometimes in apparent on the surface is covering what is really going on beneath. Self awareness and accepting some help at times is not a weakness but recognising your vulnerability needs strengthened.
Whatever easter brings for you, draw upon the knowledge that there are others who are feeling the same. Go on take a bite out of that chocolate bar!