I recently wrote of a situation in my life, giving responses from different people who have different attachment styles, along with how I was impacted by them.
In the following weeks I will look at each Attachment Pattern separately, sharing a possible profile of a person who would have grown up in an environment that was conducive to the development of the style in which they are living and relating as adults.
The desired goal is for each of us to intentionally pursue healing in our lives from traumas that snagged us from living securely. As we receive healing from our God and partner up with Him to intentionally pursue maturity, we will be shifting out of our insecure patterns to a place of increasing security. Along with the personal benefits, we will become people that others can securely bond with.
As we look at the three insecure patterns, I will offer some practical suggestions in how to specifically address what keeps the person in that pattern and increase healing.
But first, let’s consider what it is like to live securely in a world regardless of the challenges that come our way. Let me introduce you to “Sally Secure”. It is my sincere heart request to God, for myself and all of us, that we may increasingly experience the fullness of relationships and life as “Sally” does.
SNAPSHOT: SECURE ATTACHMENT PATTERN
Due to knowing well that God is all He claims to be, Secure Sally has confidence as she go through life. She is looking forward to the ‘adventures’ that are to come. Sally is not fearful of the mistakes she will make as she relates to her family, friends, co-workers, and others. She is not unnerved by the many things she must learn. She is a non-defensive and eager learner. At the times when interpersonal conflict arises, she does not withdraw in fear or become angry and demanding. Instead, she interacts with the person- pursuing mutual care and respect if at all possible. When difficult situations occur, she is not reactive. She calmly takes the time needed to learn fully what the situation is before responding. In complex situations her response is often helpful to everyone involved and people feel comfortably supported when she is there. She is able to draw out the struggles another person is having, reflectively showing her understanding as she joins them in the path that lies ahead.
Description of Upbringing:
Sally Secure grew up in an atmosphere in which her parents were finely tuned in to her physical & emotional needs, giving timely responses. Sally was encouraged to express her thoughts and opinions and talk about the hard times that come in growing up. Her parents stayed involved, helping her learn to voice her needs, receive help as needed, take care of herself, empathize and appropriately care for others. Sally is encouraged to try new things and can do so with confidence due to the secure base in life provided by the family. The family environment set the stage for Sally to be able to return to joy from any situation or emotion. As she grew, Sally learns what brings personal satisfaction and joy. She has opportunities provided in which she can learn of the power given to her by God to bring life to others.
Sally grows up with a sense of confidence and freedom to explore her world. She has enough inner certainly to tackle challenges in life in ways that are satisfactory to her. When emotional challenges as well as joyful times arise, she is able to fully feel the emotions while continuing to live from a kindly and respectful relational stance. She knows how to relate empathetically with others and interact in ways that repair relationship when they ‘rupture’. She is not as concerned with ‘fairness’ as she is with bringing about mutual care and the best interest of ‘her people’.
Relational Connection with God:
Sally lives with an inner calm and joy in knowing God’s heart towards her described in I Cor. 13. He is characterized by being patient and kind. He does not get upset when she gets credit and praise, so she does not have to put herself down with false humility. She knows He is desiring for her to be honored and not shamed. He does not hold her sins and mistakes against her, but keeps a clean slate in His mind towards her. She senses how God believes in her and what she is about. His love is persevering and she experiences ways that His loving kindness, goodness and mercy follow her daily. As a result, Sally has an easy flow of engagement with God and the world. When hard times comes, she is not overly despairing due to a knowing that it is not the end of the story and God is writing the final chapter as a remarkably good one. Being confident all will be ok, Sally is not afraid to risk and fail. She enjoys the reality of John 10:9 where Jesus exclaimed “I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture.”