Owen Madden - Psychologist

Ways of Relating that Create Safety

09 Mar 2016

The crucial foundation for safety for adult same-gender intimacy is the presence of unconditional relating from parents

and other significant adults in your early holding worlds.
Such unconditional relating is the surest prophylactic against introjecting the protective reactions of others, of having to go into hiding, and of having to create a Screen Self.
Unconditional holding celebrates your uniqueness, wants to know you in all your individuality, stays open to and is intrigued by your difference, encourages you to follow your own lights, supports you in staying true to yourself, lets you be yourself rather than re-making yourself in the image of others, supports non-conformity to others’ proscriptions and prescriptions and expectations of how you “should” be, cherishes you for your unrepeatable presence in the world, makes the message loud and clear that your life is here for you, for your purposes – to give expression to your Real nature which is to give and receive love openly, freely and spontaneously.
When we do not have such unconditional holding in our early lives – and most people do not – we then, as adults, have to face the enormous challenge of having to reclaim it within ourselves. It is a reclaiming process, because in our core we always know our worthiness of love, we always know the rightness and integrity of our unique presence. The secret is finding the safety now to operate openly and freely from our Real rather than Screen Selves.
This is something we cannot do on our own; we all need to have someone in our lives – partner, parent, sibling, friend, therapist –who is in a mature enough place to accompany us as we make what is often the long journey home to our own inner safe haven. With loving holding from yourself and others you can begin to make the move from isolation to belonging, from shame to celebration, from loneliness to intimacy, from pretence to realness, from being hidden to being out in the light.

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