Shifting Our Side
August 25, 2018
Remember the necessity of assuming personal responsibility within our relationships, creating the change we want to see, from within.
When I had my firstborn child, my heart was cracked open so wide with a love and connection to my child that both filled me with awe and FEAR. I, like many mothers, became afraid that something bad would happen. This an especially common scenario for those with trauma, who know from experience that ‘bad things happen.’ So especially when things are going well, we always anticipate the “other shoe dropping.” It was from this anxiety laden space that my husband and I began to struggle. I turned from loving partner to controlling and critical mama bear who judged and criticized his every move. I wasn’t trying to be mean, I was just trying to control everything so that my baby would be SAFE.
This criticalness of mine, would send my husband into an ungrounded state, where he would act less confident about what he was doing and then actually make more mistakes. This would then send me into more fear, thinking, “He really can’t handle that! I can’t count on him. I have to do it all myself! etc. etc.” And because anger feels more powerful than helplessness, from my wounded state of fear/control, I would become even more anxious and angry…which would send him deeper into more ungroundedness and fear of his own.
We were triggering the heck out of each other in this extremely common scenario for new parents. Eventually, through my Inner Bonding process, I became aware that we were in a vicious cycle and that my controlling behavior was not helping us.
It took a while to shift, but with diligence, I began to focus on what I could do, by being present for my anxiety (asking my inner self what I was doing or thinking to cause it), bringing Divine truth into my fears, and calming myself from a loving adult space with my Guidance. And also being willing to take the actions I needed to take if I wanted things to be done a certain way. As I shifted my side by assuming my personal responsibility, our whole dynamic began to shift, and we returned to a state of loving and cooperation.
This specific dynamic has played out for many of my clients, especially mothers, who like me experienced much personal trauma in childhood and are devoted to trying to create an ideal and safe family life for their child. The hyperviligance of their own developmental PTSD gets kicked into high gear. And learning to connect within through Inner Bonding by holding ourselves in our anxiety with our spiritual guidance, returning to trust and surrender, have helped them shift their patterns and literally retrain their trauma brain as well.
This is just one example of the power of ‘keeping our eyes on our own plates’ as Margaret reminds us. So often, in my work, many will ponder and speculate on what will get their partner to change. As we all find out at one point or another, this does not work.
In Inner Bonding, we generally see that one person is drawn to work on the relationship and as they connect to their inner self and learn to love themselves, a shift happens. When they release expectations and fearful control over their partner, child, parent, co-worker, etc., the other is less likely to resist healing and/or get stuck in their own triggers. This often leads to increased openness and understanding. Though we will sometimes find ourselves in a milder version of this same cycle, when life gets really stressful, I now know what to do, to immediately shift my side. And it works everytime!
There are no guarantees about what your loved one will do, but it is clear that when we turn our attention inward and take responsibility for healing ourselves, we always feel better. And from this place of self-love, we bring more authentic, freely given love to our relationships, and therein lies true safety.
Sylvia Poareo, MSW is immensely grateful for the continual growth and healing found by practicing Inner Bonding for more than twenty years. She offers phone support as well as Inner Bonding workshops and retreats worldwide. For more information or to bring her to your area, visit: www.connectingwithin.com