My favourite and most simple definition of relationship security - it is trust in goodness. My goodness, the goddess of the other person, the goodness of the relationship. I am enough, I am worthy of space, time, and attention just as I am. The person I am relating to means well, even if it does not always come out that way. The relationship can survive rocky patches, we can come back to feeling connected again and again and again…
When parents come to work with me, one of my main tasks is to trust their goodness, see them as awesome parents, and delight in them and their parenting. I’m grateful that that comes easily for me. I genuinely admire all parents, let alone the ones who have the will and courage to explore how they are showing up with their children. I stay present with them as they order their thoughts and figure out where to direct their parenting efforts next. Perhaps sometimes it’s all that’s needed: a trusting ear, somebody who sees them as amazing, capable parents, because - let’s face it - we can be our own harshest critics and completely overlook the amazing parenting we are doing already.
I wish I could offer the same level of trust and admiration to my children. It’s a constant practice, an evolving project. I’m leaning into my experience with others and take those deep breaths when I feel worries creep up.
I distinctly remember how much I hated being worried about when I was growing up. That paralyzing heaviness hanging in the air. In those moments, I did not feel seen as capable and resilient. I did not feel trusted. Thankfully, I only have a handful of memories of feeling like that, most of the time, I felt supported and free to get on with my life, and I’m hugely grateful for that.
So here I am, grappling with trusting the goodness, wisdom, resilience and kindness of my children. I find a way in through my body… Trusting feels more relaxed. My shoulders drop, my chest opens, and my eyes soften. I feel waves of warm breath rolling through my body like those little gentle waves that reach the shore.
At the moment, my inner practice is about coming back to that trusting place again and again and again. And letting the day unfold from there…
P.s. If you would like more ideas for nurturing your unique connection with your child, have a look at the mini-course 24 ways you can be there for your child.