Healing Broken Attachment
Attachment can become detachment. Just because we were close doesn’t mean we stay close, as anyone who has had a friend move away or a sibling head off to another part of the world well knows.
Love takes maintenance. Bonds can easily drift apart and weaken in resolve if not maintained. If you find that your relationships have become broken or bent in terms of attachment, take heart! There is a way to healing broken attachments.
There is good news even when the love bond gets damaged. It can be restored and even made better than ever before.
Step-by-step we can come to a place of “fresh start”.
Healing can look like this:
1. Pray for your miracle and ask God to lead the way. Make your prayers specific. Write down what you hope for. Be concrete in your aspirations.
2. Choose to trust God.
3. One person has a desire to heal the broken relationship and initiates a conversation. This can be done by writing or in-person. Begin by remembering your “beginnings” with that person. What was good, beautiful, and worthwhile? Share those thoughts with the other. Talk about how much you want to work together to make things better. There may have been problems in the past, but you believe in the possibilities for the future and have not given up on change.
4. Even if the response is less than enthusiastic. Seize on what is hopeful. Ask directly for cooperation in simply exploring possibilities of change and renewal. Even a little bit of an opening allows God to work on recovery.
5. If you need someone to facilitate/bridge a meeting together, do get help. It can be extremely productive to have some assistance with attachment healing. I am willing to help if you need further support.
6. Choose out some undisturbed time to meet.
7. Write down your suggestions (both parties) for a starting-point topic. It isn’t always the case that the most serious issues need to be addressed first. Sometimes tackling the smaller things paves the way with success toward dealing with deeper challenges. Other times there is just one big issue that needs addressing. Work strategically to tackle it effectively.
8. Pray for each other and if possible, together. Continue to let God lead the way.
9. Establish how you will talk about the issue(s). What boundaries? How long? Where? With whom? Eg) No yelling, no sarcasm, no name-calling, no meanness…etc. You cannot receive anything good if your fists are clenched.
10. Set the problem “out there” at arms length and evaluated together. Keep emotions in check and approach the situation with good reasoning, logic, and with a desire to remedy the problem. You are looking to be soothing and health-giving to each other.
11. It is important to deal honestly with pain. Each person should have opportunity to be listened to, receive empathy, and voice their feelings and thoughts. Let each person have sufficient time to speak uninterrupted.
12. As you come to understanding, repeat it and acknowledge it. Apologize for your part in the division. Forgive whatever you can. Voice your mercy to each other.
14. Deal with any addictions – get help.
15. What can you do that changes how you’ll talk to each other, deal with conflict, make decisions, address troubles? Make a plan. Write down any decisions made.
16. Make a decision not to dwell or retell. Leave the garbage behind. Be intentional about starting a new chapter. Make the day a milestone day.
17. If there continues to be bitterness or distance between you, get more help.
18. Attend or obtain Therese’s talk on Healing Attachment.
19. Give thanks to God and each other. Be affectionate and warm.
It's easier to write these steps out than it is to live them out. Don't lose heart. The effort is worth the reward. It takes daily courage and hope to take steps towards healing. Then, after a while of consistent effort, things become habit, routine and eventually effortless.
God has equipped you for every good work...and healing broken attachment is good work.
I'm talking about the Attachment this month. Here's a sneak peek. I dive a little deeper into these points: