Am I Really Securely Attached to God? to Anyone? Do I Even Know What Secure Attachment Feels Like?
I have often wondered, God it feels so easy to love You but my husband, family, friend, feels so difficult. Then this thought went through my head. I am as attached to God as I am to my husband, family, friend, etc…I just think it is different because I don’t “feel” my attachment wound with God or do I? I feel distracted almost every time I sit down to have quiet, connecting time with God. My cell phone calls out to me, check and see what is happening in the world, see if anyone has reached out to you, what about that email, the text you meant to return, should I open this book, should I get this one chore done before I sit with God? I thought, oh this is normal to be distracted until recently I began to notice I feel distracted whenever I try to attach. It is in me since I was born. Unfortunately, my mom did not know how to attach with me so I live with insecure distracted attachment. What does this look like when you are relating to me? It looks like I am with you physically but I am not necessarily there relationally. I am distracted. A close girlfriend and I were recently talking about our greatest fear, I answered right away, attaching to you and then in the same breath, not attaching to you. It is both. I don’t want to and I do want to attach to you. Not wanting and then wanting to attach to you points out a debilitating attachment wound, disorganized attachment. Disorganized attachment as I have mentioned in past blogs, creates a fear reaction inside of me so I do and don’t want to attach at the same time. I do the same with God. It is no different though I like to believe it is- I am good with God just not good with people. I am learning it doesn’t work that way. Gosh this can sound hopeless except it is not. I am learning to attach with my hesed(enduring kindness) group. How? Here’s an example-
This past weekend I felt jealous of a friend John(not is real name) in my hesed group who shared he has secure attachment. I went to enemy mode with John, how come he can attach and synchronize with those he loves and it creates a fear reaction in me? Now I don’t feel like I belong around John. My shame hit hard. When shame hits hard, my brain can slip into enemy mode. I pushed and prodded to prove that John doesn’t have secure attachment, shame stopped me from being me with my friend. Shame is not pretty and enemy mode is just plain ugly and mean unless I have another friend from my hesed growing group, I’ll call Larry, who helps me see that I am making my good friend, John, my enemy due to my shame. Jim Wilder author of Renovated says, “We are most open for transformation while someone feels like an enemy but only if our attachment love to God (or one of God’s people) is strong enough to support mutual mind in that space.” What is mutual mind? Mutual mind, in this situation, was Larry helping me to see John through the eyes of heaven because that is how Larry was seeing John as well and Larry shared it with me.
As Larry walked with me through this situation I was able to return to John and text, “Good morning, I took our dog for a walk this morning and was talking to Immanuel. What was going on for me on Friday night when John said, I have mostly secure attachment? The first word that I heard was shame and the second words were hopeless despair. Just now as I wrote this I heard these words inside of me say, why does he get secure attachment? So there is jealousy but it feels inside of me like hopeless despair. I am so tired of my attachment wound that says “now I don’t belong here either.” I know that I took that out on you on Friday night. I feel healthy shame about what I did. Now I need to be mindful of not slipping into I am so bad, feeling anxious and beating myself up because then it is still all about me- still in my shame. I am sorry for how my shame came out against you, John. I am sure it did not bring you to a place of peace or joy, as it didn’t for me. It is like me to be curious and listen to my friends. When time permits, I want to talk about this in person.”
This was John’s response, “Thank you Lori for processing this with us. This is what we do in our group. This very thing. Sometimes it takes these bumps in the road. It is all useful to Jesus. He doesn’t waste anything.” When John and I talked later he said, "Lori, do you know that you coming back, texting and acknowledging what was happening inside of you makes you trustworthy to me. When people won't acknowledge enemy mode, receive help offered, come back, and talk, that doesn't feel trustworthy." Wow, John saw me, the true me.
I felt so grateful, I got to be the recipient of his secure attachment which allows me to make mistakes, learn together and repair. Jim Wilder also states, “Starting an attachment, like falling in love, can be quite easy with people we like. Maintaining attachments when something goes wrong is the measure of emotional maturity. When someone begins to feel more like an enemy than a friend (or takes an instant dislike to us) we discover the strength of our attachment love.”
Are you open to the transformation when someone feels more like an enemy than a friend or when something goes wrong in the relationship? Are you interested in how to maintain your attachment to the person who feels like an enemy at this moment? Are you curious about your attachment to God and others? Then read Renovated with me and learn how to build secure attachments.
"I was out loved by those people that I needed to hate." John M. Perkins
Please watch this video and see a real example of someone being transformed- John M. Perkins Story Youtube.com