#221- Journey of Attachment: Looking for Certainty in an Uncertain World

#221- Journey of Attachment: Looking for Certainty in an Uncertain World

#221- Journey of Attachment: Looking for Certainty in an Uncertain World

We want other people to give us certainty so we can feel safe… because the outside world is unpredictable. We go to great lengths to control situations in order to feel secure, which only works in the very short term because true safety is found inside. We seek permanence in commitments such as a steady job, marriage, money in the bank, etc. to create that feeling of security. I’m not saying these are bad things, but when people expect them to compensate for their lack of safety inside, dissatisfaction and unhappiness results. We think these symbols are guarantees, but life is unpredictable. Stuff happens! Jobs change, marriages end and money fluctuates, so their security is just an illusion.

This search for certainty is prevalent in attached relationships because having a partner feels stable, even if the relationship is anything but. There is continuity, providing a strange comfort in the expected. Fear of loss comes into play as well—we don’t want to give up what we know for something uncertain, even if certainty equals pain and uncertainty equals the potential for love and joy. The risk seems too great. We’d rather stick to our patterns because we know what to expect.

Securely attached people aren’t immune to bad things happening, but they have a basic trust of life (i.e. “this too shall pass”), and don’t need to hold on so tightly. They have a general feeling of safety that doesn’t rely on those external illusions. Uncertainty in the unknown is terribly uncomfortable and may make you want to jump out of your skin, but instead of looking for certainty in the same old insecurely attached relationship, feel those fearful emotions. Holding on to something outside of us with an iron grip will only provide a false sense of security. Wouldn’t you rather have the real thing and embrace what is unknown? The unknown can be incredibly exciting because in it lies possibility. Uncertainty is where life is.

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