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May 31, 2021

Hey Christina, If abandonment is a core wound, how do I overcome this?

– Forever Hopeful

Dear Forever Hopeful,

This is a great question, so thank you. Here’s the thing… yes, there is a need to overcome past wounds and heal them. There’s also a need to understand where this pattern of hurt came from and to accept that while it was imposed on you,  you have the ability to alter it. There is also a need to know that abandonment does not define you as “damaged”; what’s most important is how you carry forward. The deepest work is in knowing that no one can ever truly abandon you, because you will never abandon yourself. When you live in fear of being abandoned or rejected, you are putting your emotional destiny in others’ hands.

Abandonment is tricky because it typically stems from trauma or loss, and is triggered so easily, especially while dating and within intimate relationships.

The following is a list of seven things you can do to embody the fear of abandonment and turn it into a super power:

  1. Stop beating yourself up. You didn’t ask for, or order up the oh so lovely “fear of abandonment” pattern. It’s a lot like unsolicited advice: it picked you; you didn’t ask for it.
  1. Having a fear of abandonment does not define you as “damaged goods”. Accepting and loving your fear of abandonment is truly an act of self-love. It is a part of you, therefore, you should embrace it, learn from it and ultimately appreciate it.
  1. Take responsibility for your fear, rather than expecting your partner to “fix it”. We carry an unidentified expectation into relationship, and while we likely don’t have awareness around this, we hold an underlying expectation to have our partner tend to it. While this often happens subconsciously, I challenge you to bring your fear front and centre. You will likely begin to see that when you feel like running or putting up a wall, you are reacting to fear. Our reactions are often not our truth.
  1. Use your fear of abandonment as an opportunity to develop self-reliance. This means adopting the belief that you will never be abandoned, because you can never abandon yourself. When people leave your life, you will be okay because you love you and have the ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry forward.
  1. Compile a list of things that you love to do for yourself and call on them when you are feeling like heading for the hills. Journal, run, walk, listen to a podcast, read a book about self-love; sit and cry.
  1. Know that even if your partner says or does something that triggers you, this is your story and history that is causing your reaction. It’s all yours, so hear it for what it is by asking yourself “is this true?” The story that is playing in your head is not true and it can be re-written. This can only be done if you hear the story, question it and then disprove it.
  1. When you catch yourself looking for reassurance from your partner, stop and look inward. It is your responsibility to take care of yourself. You are the only person who can control your own thoughts, and with consistent efforts and practice, you can get very good at it.

At the end of the day, you will fumble. Fear of abandonment is  a beast of a pattern, which will test you, but I encourage you to use the above list to work through and process your feelings. Try, and then try again. I do believe that over time, you will eventually quiet the insecurities and eggshells that tend to accompany this pattern.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank anyone and everyone who has uttered the words,

“So I asked myself… what would Christina do?”

** This platform has been inspired by you! **

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Dear Christina, I have been married for ten years. We have two kids. I want to stay together. I love my wife. We have been in counselling for a couple years now and I am at a point where resentment is all I see. When she says anything, I am automatically defensive and often throw the “divorce” word around. All I hear is criticism, yet all I want is time with her and a connection. How do I even start to break down her wall and prove to her that she is my everything?

September 27, 2021|Hey Christina|

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