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  • reidwalton

Protection vs Connection


Relationships become patterns, a dance that we get into with one another over time. You do this. I’ll do that. Over the years we begin to respond or not respond to each other in particular ways when one or both of us experience some type of emotional or cognitive danger. When we are in protection mode, we are fighting or flighting to try to feel safe. When we stonewall, shut down, numb out, avoid, we are in protection. When we are demanding, criticizing, name calling and picking, we are in protection. Disconnection is the danger. Not feeling understood, cared for - that you really matter in big and small ways - that’s danger. It’s scary and so we protect ourselves. To protect ourselves is built into our species and generally can serve us well. Except for when it’s your safe base, your spouse, your person - it gets in the way. 


Connection is about coming together. It’s not just about you. It’s not just about them. It’s open and allows room for each other. Connection has the purpose and goal of energy flowing between both of you that works with each other, not against. Connection is being available, responsive and engaged. It’s about being someone who is connectable. When you are connecting you feel known and are knowing. You are honest, vulnerable active in the process. Protection often hinders connection. Disconnection leads to protection. Protection is not about energy flowing through - it’s about stopping it. Connection requires a lot of compassion and kindness towards ourself and towards the other person. Making new moves, disrupting old patterns can help increase closeness when closeness really is the point of it all.

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