Thursday, March 5, 2009

Changes that Heal Learning to bond

Changes that Heal

Learning to bond

In order to grow emotionally
and spiritually, we have to bond with others. Learning to bond requires the
ingredients to life: grace, truth and practiced over time. Learning to bond
challenges our old ways of doing and thinking: “To get something you never
had, you have to do something you have never done.” Learning to bond
requires us to be vulnerable and allow the needy side of ourselves to be shown
to others. We have to let down our defenses and allow ourselves to be
relationally dependent on others. We have to open up and take a risk to the
possibility of being hurt. The following is a list of bonding skills that can
be learned and developed.

Challenge your distorted thinking

Our “old maps” keep us from
learning the new direction of where we need to go. Doing the things we have
always done causes us to repeat where we have been already. The Bible says
“Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). It
is only with grace and truth over time, we learn our way.

Realize the need

When life is not working, we
have to ask ourselves: why? Recognizing and admitting that we have symptoms to
not bonding and barriers to bonding, gives us insight. The theme of the Bible
teaches relationship with God and the Body of Christ is needed for us to grow.
Realizing the need is the beginning to growth.

Recognize defenses

Learn to recognize the
patterns in how you are operating with others and take responsibility for your
own growth. Be the change instead of repeating old behavior: “Oh, there I go
again, taking a positive and turning it into a negative with someone who is
trying to love me. I will try and let them matter to me this time.”

Move towards others

It is wonderful when others
accept us and show us love. Bonding takes being open and proactive. Do your
best to reach out to others for help and support.

Take risks

Our old ways of thinking and
the resistance to truth, keeps us from opening new doors of relationships.
Without risk, we cannot grow, learn, or love.

Be vulnerable

Humility and vulnerability
are absolutely necessary for bonding to develop at a deep level. Vulnerability
is a skill that opens up the heart for love to take root. When you can admit
your hurts and loneliness, and ask for help and support, a new dynamic will set
in motion that will transform your personality and your life.

Soften your heart

When you begin to open your
lonely heart, your needy, and dependent feelings begin to surface. Even though
uncomfortable, these are the beginnings to the softening of our heart. Allowing
the tenderness of your heart to resurface, will give opportunity for
relationship and bonding to develop and grow.

Be empathic

Empathy is the ability to
share in another s thoughts, emotions, and needs. Empathizing with others and
identifying with their loss and pain, softens your own heart and gets you in
touch with our own hurt and loneliness.

Get in touch with your anger

Often times, people will
avoid bonding because they fear their anger at the very one whom they love and
need. It is natural to feel anger to the one you need. Because of our sinful
nature, we resent feeling dependent on God and others.

Pray and meditate

Ask God to reveal your heart
so you can see your true self. Ask God to unravel the problems of your
inability to attach with others. “ For He will deliver the needy who cry out:
the afflicted who have no one to help” (Psalms 72:12).

Rely on the Holy Spirit

When we come to the place
when we are troubled, we confess our inability and ask Him to help us. “The
Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26).

Say yes to life

When we are lonely and
isolated, we are saying no to relationship. Sometimes we choose to hide behind
our walls of denial, or stay too busy for relationships. When we make excuses
and avoid intimacy, we are saying no to bonding and no to life. The task of
bonding to others and God is one of saying yes to life. When we have realized
and confessed our need, taken a risk and make ourselves vulnerable, we are
saying yes to life. When we start accepting invitations as they present
themselves, we say yes to love. It may mean giving a different answer in safe
contexts when you are asked, “How are you doing?”


By looking at the past we
can acknowledge our reluctance for relationship. Looking at the present, we can
evaluate who is available to increase our relationships. What steps can you
take with those people to produce better attachments? How can you make time,
change your schedule, and lifestyle to increase your quality of relationships?
What difficulties do you envision encountering as you begin to challenge your
isolation? What will you do to overcome these obstacles?

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