Sometimes, to protect ourselves, we close ourselves off from a person we’re in a relationship with. Our body may be present, but we’re not. We’re not available to participate in the relationship.
We shut down.
Sometimes, it is appropriate and healthy to shut down in a relationship. We may legitimately need some time out. Sometimes it is self-defeating to close ourselves off in a relationship.
To stop being vulnerable, honest, and present for another person can put an end to the relationship. The other person can do nothing in the relationship when we are gone. Closing ourselves makes us unavailable to that relationship.
It is common to go through temporary periods of closing down in a relationship. But it is unhealthy to make this an ongoing practice. It may be one of our relationship-sabotaging devices.
Before we close down, we need to ask ourselves what we are hoping to accomplish by shutting down. Do we need some time to deal? To heal? To grow? To sort through things? Do we need time out from this relationship? Or are we reverting to our old ways – hiding, running, and terminating relationships because we are afraid we cannot take care of ourselves in any other way?
Do we need to shut down because the other person truly isn’t safe, is manipulating, lying, or acting out addictively or abusively? Are we shutting down because the other person has shut down and we no longer want to be available?
Shutting down, shutting off, closing ourselves and removing our emotional presence from a relationship is a powerful tool. We need to use it carefully and responsibly. To achieve intimacy and closeness in a relationship, we need to be present emotionally. We need to be available.
God, help me be emotionally present in the relationships I choose to be in.” via Just For Today Meditations » 2012 » June » 23.
- Letting the Cycles Flow (toddlohenry.com)
- Directness (toddlohenry.com)
- Commitment (toddlohenry.com)
- Hanging on to Old Relationships (toddlohenry.com)
- Discovering intimacy (toddlohenry.com)
- Fear of Intimacy (toddlohenry.com)
- Recognizing Choices (toddlohenry.com)