When I was four years old, my dad lost me at a carnival.
For some reason my mom hadn’t come with us – it was me, my dad, and another dad with his two kids. As we exited a ride, I went through the proper exit while my dad hopped the fence, separating us. I spent a good 20 minutes (which felt like forever to a lost 4yo) searching for him in the crowds, everyone so much bigger than me, feeling like I was about to be trampled – pure chaos and aloneness in the universe, completely unmoored, unable to grab onto anything familiar around me.
When he finally found me, he heaved an exasperated sigh and rolled his eyes as though it had been my fault I’d gotten lost.
In 2014 I did a Timeline Therapy session around the intense and unbearable red-orange feeling of anxiety I got when I couldn’t get a hold of someone important to me, especially in relationship, and I traced it back to that moment, a memory I’d long buried. The feeling of complete and utter helplessness and lack of control, any attempts at connection just grasping at straws – that nowhere in my body is safe because I’m disconnected from anything familiar.
At this point in my life I’d say I’ve resolved my anxious attachment about as well as can be expected. I no longer internalize someone else’s unavailability as any reflection on me and I no longer try to control situations with my actions beyond showing up in my integrity. I also trust in people’s feelings for me and that if the connection is genuine, they’ll be back – and if they’re not, then there’s nothing I could or should have done to convince them otherwise.
Sometimes though I am genuinely worried about a person’s safety, in a way that is actually correct for the circumstances and has nothing to do with their feelings for me.
This morning I felt that same intense red-orange feeling come back for the first time in years – only this time I knew it wasn’t about me, and when I reached the limits of what I could do in the situation I recognized when to let go of any attempt to manage it.
It still sucked.
Today I’m celebrating how far I’ve come in healing my attachment wounds while also being present in the melancholic reality that actually sometimes we do lose people we love, and that feeling fear in those moments of sudden disconnection is actually a normal and correct response that is part of being human.
And the only thing I can do about that is to continue to strengthen my own relationship with spirit, trust in the ongoing process, increase the clarity of guidance and prayer, and ask for my loved ones to be kept safe.
Which is what I‘d be doing anyway.