A poem that has always touched me, and to which I return often, is David Whyte‘s Self-Portrait. To me it speaks of the longing to live life courageously and passionately, and in a meaningful and connected way. I was not surprised (but I was pleased!) when I learned he had read this poem to a crowd of 3000 therapists at a recent Psychotherapy Networker conference (2010).
Securely attached partners are better able to navigate the trials and tribulations that life has a habit of bringing our way. Knowing we have a safe and secure base from which we can draw sustenance and strength, and to which we can always return, allows us to go confidently out into the world.
This sort of secure attachment, teaches Susan Johnson (Emotional Focused Therapy), is shaped by mutual emotional accessibility and responsiveness. What may appear on the surface as fights about kids, money or sex, is really a fundamental challenge to whether the partner is emotional accessible and responsive. The underlying questions being asked in most such arguments are: Are you really there for me? Do I matter to you? Will you turn towards me and respond to me? How important am I to you?