Water, like emotion, can pull us in different directions with unprocessed undercurrents that can takes us away from our loved ones. We may splash around angrily with our partner hoping for attention, only to find our partner turning further away, causing us feel more angry and lonely. Conversely, one partner may try to pat down the raging waters, only to cause the other partner to feel shut down and unheard. Many of us were never taught to notice or experience our emotions, and in fact, we were told to ‘get over it’, ‘suck it up’ or ‘move on. Sadly, this can cause emotion to come out sideways with rage, anger, an icy wall or by using substances, most of which causes our opportunities to connect to become lost or frayed.
By bridging the gap of disconnection with Emotionally Focused Therapy, couples learn to better understand what is happening on the inside of each partner and discover how they impact one another and their relationship. With the help of a Certified EFT therapist who creates safety in the relationship, and helps the partners understand how they lose each other in the negative dance they begin to create, a safer more connected dance. As this becomes the norm, partners are guided to safely share more lovingly what lies beneath the surface so each partner can hear the others hurts and longings. This emotional sharing becomes the velcro or bridge of attachment and connection. By processing our emotions with those closest to us, our emotions can create deep ripples of connection and loving attachment.
In our culture, many males and as well as females, are ‘taught’ to suppress their emotions at a very young age. One of the ways these emotions show up when they aren’t deeply felt is to be carried around as boulders of responsibility. Overtime this responsibility becomes burdensome and overwhelming and can lead to efforts to cast the emotional boulders off by either pushing them down, trying to throw them away with anger or avoiding them completely by numbing out with substances such as alcohol, drugs and other process addictions. Ultimately, these emotional boulders can lead to depression, anxiety, stress, PTSD and adjustment issues and at time can feel as though one is on the edge of a cliff with very few options available and what is available isn’t working. Rather than being able to express deeper emotions with those we love, especially if the relationship is strained, we stay stuck in cycles within and with our partners, which only worsen over time. Processing our emotions with the ones we love, can help lift the boulders from our shoulders and lighten our hearts.