Dating and Mating
“An honorable human relationship
– that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love
– is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved,
a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.
― Adrienne Rich
On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978
Togetherness and Individuation
Healthy relationships strike a delicate balance between autonomy and emotional connection. If we err on the side of autonomy, we can become cold, indifferent, or self-centered. Yet if we put all of our focus on others we neglect our own needs, build resentment, and burn out.
The concept of self-differentiation, defined as the process of partially freeing oneself, as best one can, from the emotional entrapment of one’s family of origin, is a lifelong and never-ending one. No individual can actualize this infinite task. We do the best we can and hope our efforts will be rewarded. Would you like to learn how to:
- Develop self-focus so you can give up the search for someone who will save you from the beautiful struggles and possibilities of living an authentic life
- Become aware of the family emotional processes that may impede the ability to say clearly who I am and who I want to be.
- Develop the ability to not be governed by anxiety and emotional reactivity.
When we get stuck in relationship difficulties it’s often the result of unresolved emotional attachments from our past. Work on the differentiation of self begins with taking a researcher’s stance, becoming curious about one’s family of origin and its influence on one’s current life situation. This then creates opportunities to increase
one’s level of both functional and basic differentiation.
Differentiation of self is a continuous work in progress. It is a journey to a destination we will never reach. Somewhat akin to the mindfulness understanding of “practice,” commit to doing what you are doing in the present moment with clear understanding and dedication to attend, in a thoughtful way, to both autonomy and connectedness.
When all else fails, Mindful Relationship coaching can help keep the process moving forward in a positive direction. How can I be most helpful to you?
To learn more and/or schedule a consultation click here.