In the past few months, I was introduced to a new book. Honestly, I've read tons of self-help books... but when this book appeared, I knew it was a good one. It's called "Wired for Love" by Stan Tatkin.
Stan talks about the importance of creating relationships that are safe containers for us to be ourselves and connect with others from a safe and stable place. And while I'm going to launch off from his idea, I highly encourage you to check out the book.
To have a safe container, it's important to have self-respect and also mutual respect. If you don't respect yourself, it's not likely you are going to respect someone else. And, if you don't have self-respect and mutual respect > then the relationship will not have safety and stability.
If you're in my world, you've likely heard me talking a lot about safe containers since I read the book.
For the past few months, I've been in more small group activities than usual. I joined four other women to be in a band called "Lady Rockstars" ~ where we learn an instrument, form a band and play at a bar > all in a month. It's a truly empowering experience. Created by Krystle Baller of Charlotte-based Pachyderm Music Lab, LRS is truly a safe container. We all shared two truths and one lie in an effort to get to know each other, guessing what was the lie. We chose a band name. We learned 2 songs together. All safe container stuff.
This past week, I was in Charleston, WV and got to hang out with my lady friends in the Wanda Petunia Adventure Book Club. We don't necessarily read Wanda books, but we are always sharing Wanda principles of encouraging each other to have self-care, and supporting each other's dreams and laughing a lot. More safe container stuff.
I also recently got to teach a class at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library for 5-11 year old kids on "How to be your own Super Hero." Even though it was a very short class, I did my best to create a safe container for the kids and moms. I encouraged them to think about a strength they have and also a weakness. Then they drew themselves as a superhero and created a comic where they battled something they struggle with. I wanted them to feel safe and supported and able to draw freely and pick whatever struggle they wanted to pick and share with our group if it felt good. I think everyone felt the safe container of our group.
For most of my life, my closest relationships were not safe containers. I have struggled in my life with healing childhood wounds, growing in maturity and being confident. And, I have a history of not picking the best partners for me. This has resulted in multiple examples of me not having a safe container for a relationship.
You may have been born into a family that felt like a safe container environment. If so, yay! But many of us have not been born into safe container families. That means we are more likely to duplicate this pattern and pick partners and relationships that are not peaceful, loving and respectful. But every person deserves this.
Most importantly, YOU are meant to be a safe container within yourself. With effort, you can create a safe container within yourself. Here are some tips to begin:
1) Do not be the person who says you don't need therapy. I constantly see people come to therapy to deal with people who won't come to therapy,
2) Have the confidence and courage to admit your mistakes and issues,
3) Know that making mistakes and having issues does not change your worth as a person,
4) Practice separating your negative behaviors from your worth and change the negative behaviors while affirming your worth,
5) Focus more on your own needs and issues than you focus on someone else,
6) Know that you can create change when you focus on yourself instead of wanting someone else to change,
7) Practice trusting yourself (see previous blog post) because if you don't trust yourself, you can't have a safe container,
8) Pay attention to your feelings and intuition > because when you don't you'll get extra drama ~ guaranteed,
9) Choose relationships that practice steps 1) through 8),
10) If you do not practice step 9) > quickly course correct and choose differently!
You are worthy of being in relationships that feel good, and it is possible. You are never the sole problem, you deserve apologies when they are due you,
you deserve to be spoken to kindly, and if you have put up a wall because you've been hurt > know you can practice these steps, and eventually not need a wall. Practice these steps, and you'll be able to successfully have more safe container relationships. It will feel great and you'll be creating world peace! XOX