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Lions Roar : March 2018
ADVICE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES I Couldn’t Trust My Parents’ Love LAUREN CASALINO on how to get over the effects of insecure attachment. Question: When I was a child I couldn’t really depend on my parents’ love, which felt like it came and went depending on their moods. As an adult, I still can’t really trust others’ love for me or feel like I deserve it. My therapist says I suffer from “insecure attach- ment.” What exactly is this and how can I overcome the negative effects it’s having on my life? Answer: Ah, reader, my heart goes out to you in sympathy with the universal human longing to be loved. You ask what insecure attachment is. Your own words name what it is, along with its impact—that you “can’t really trust others’ love” for you. To change its effects on your life, bring awareness and kindness to your experience. Since those nega- tive effects manifest in your body’s sensations, emotions, thoughts, and beliefs, every moment is an opportunity to let go of coping strategies you may have adopted that interfere with opening to love. There are many ways to let go and open, and your therapist can support you to find those that help you most. Generally speaking, relax into sensations through breathing into areas of tension. Recog- nize difficult emotions to be like ocean waves—they form, gather momentum, peak, and subside. Ride the waves with curiosity and embrace your feeling nature. Choose affirmative self-talk and challenge limiting beliefs, such as the thought that you do not deserve love. You can also join a process group that supports experienc- ing trusting and loving relationships. Cultivate experiences that bring forth your love of life. The more you can trust in your own ability to love life, the more you will be able to risk trusting in others’ love for you. Then, your feeling loved will not be dependent upon being loved. It seems to me that yours is a lifelong jour- ney of daring to trust in and express love. How demanding, how worthwhile! May you be accompanied by trustworthy and loving people on your path. ♦ ©NASOSZOVOILIS/STOCKSYUNITED LAUREN CASALINO is a licensed counselor and an associate professor at Naropa University. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org NUNS IN THE HIMALAYAS The Pema Chödrön Foundation’s support helps ensure that nuns in Nepal, Bhutan and India have the same equal opportunities for deep practice and study as monks have always had. AT rISk popULATIoNS Pema is committed to supporting organizations that work to protect and nurture at-risk populations, particularly women and youth who are in challenging circumstances. THE Book INITIATIVE Pema’s books and recorded teachings are offered to underserved individuals and the organizations that support them, around the world, free of charge. THE BUDDHIST MoNASTIC TrADITIoN Pema is dedicated to help guide and support her home monastery, Gampo Abbey, as well as monastic settings in Asia and the West. OUR ONLINE BOOKSTORE: You can purchase Pema’s books, CDs and DVDs along with her archived teachings at our online bookstore. Free Shipping in the USA. THE pEMA CHöDröN FoUNDATIoN SUpporTS: pEMACHoDroNFoUNDATIoN.org LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2018 23