Colorado Life Coach: Disconnected?

“The truth is that every relationship has one of two goals: connection or disconnection.”

I’ve been reading, I mean really reading Keep Your Love On: Connection, Communication & Boundaries, by Danny Silk. This sentence made me think. Is it true? Are there only two choices?

I know when I am actively seeking a connection in my marriage, but when I’m not, am I actually seeking disconnection?

Danny Silk explains, “These goals are revealed by the skill sets people adopt to achieve them.” The goal is disconnection when you create a safe distance from one another. “Each moment of each day, you are measuring how much distance you need to feel safe around each other. Sometimes the necessary distance is small, and other times it’s great. But the current goal is a safe distance, not a safe connection.”

I coach people for a living. Many individuals and couples come to me because they don’t have the kind of relationship they long for. Most of my clients live from fear. This means that the majority of their decisions do not come from a place of love for the other person, but out of fear of getting hurt.

“Trying again and again to send the message of love without receiving a positive result will leave anyone feeling hurt, powerless, and hopeless. You want to be connected, but because you cannot seem to repair your ‘disconnect’, you have come to believe that he/she doesn’t want a connection with you. This feeling of rejection is painful enough to make you want to change your goal from connecting with each other, to protecting yourselves.”

Isn’t that how most of us live?

Life is hard. We’ve been hurt. We’ve hurt others. It doesn’t feel good. We avoid it whenever possible.

Who wouldn’t? I don’t know many people who want to get hurt. It hurts, after all!

The problem with this may seem obvious: If we live from fear of getting hurt, we hold ourselves back. When we hold ourselves back, the people closest to us can’t really know us. How can we truly love and be loved if we don’t show the other person who we really are?

But, what if they don’t like us anymore if they discovered who we really were, what we really thought or felt, what we really did, or want to do, what we really believe?

Or, what if they use my vulnerability to hurt me?

And there’s the rub.

We hide because we’re scared.

At least this way, if they leave us, we can keep on believing that it wasn’t the true me they rejected, because I never let them see that! I’m still OK.

And the fear lives on.

Until…

“You commit to the goal of connection. It’s only when you commit to moving toward someone that you will seek the knowledge and skills necessary to reach them.”

“The choice to pursue the goal of connection will bring you right up against the real conflict that lies at the core of every relationship. It is a spiritual battle–a heart battle–drawn between the two most powerful forces that drive us: fear and love. If you want to be a powerful person capable of building intimate relationships, then it is absolutely vital that you learn how these forces operate and align yourself with love.”

So what do we do? Well, the short answer is, get vulnerable. Get honest with yourself. Take responsibility for your feelings and actions. Learn some tools to connect, instead of disconnect.

Reading this book would be a great start!

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole

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