Navigating ourselves in relationships is complex. Being human means that we can expect to let ourselves and the people closest to us down from time to time. This can look like losing patience, communicating from a space of frustration, or being preoccupied and missing or shutting down attempts by our loved ones for connection.
Our work is to develop a loving awareness of ourselves as human, imperfect, and yet still worthy; while also holding ourselves responsible and owning the moments when we miss it in our relationships. This looks like slowing down, being present, and noticing the emotional experiences we are feeling on the inside, as well as paying attention and being sensitive to the emotional experiences of our loved ones.
Our challenge is not to create perfection but to catch moments of imperfection, turning emotional injury into connection and healing. This is the process of repair. To become an observer, to look and pay attention, and to own what needs to be owned, for ourselves and in our relationships.
To repair sounds like empathy, care, concern, validation, and authentic emotional presence – “I can imagine that didn’t feel good for you when I (was mad/left/wasn’t there for you); How did that feel?; I’m sorry, I care for you and didn’t mean to make you feel that way. Can we try that again?”
Repair works to undo aloneness in the face of overwhelming emotion – to be with a trusted other processing our feelings and calming the nervous system. It represents an opportunity to be kind to ourselves and to take care of the ones who mean the most to us.
In what ways do you want to see yourself grow in developing compassion and accountability through emotional repair?