When I started therapeutic work with clients who were suffering from relationship trauma and attachment issues, I turned to attachment theory for guidance. I imagined a magnet board as relationship and pictured each of my clients as a magnet trying to attach to it. I made it a goal to understand why some magnets attached, while others had been "demagnetized."
I knew that damage done in the context of relationship can only be healed in the context of relationship, and the concept of attachment theory, that identifies relationship as the magnet board of early childhood, felt true. However, as I engaged clients in attachment theory, I noticed that the magnet board looked different for clients who were able to move forward in therapy and successfully learn to attach.
It occured to me that the surface of the board, for clients who were learning to "attach," looked less like a magnet board and more a lego board. Those who were able to learn to attach had people on the other side who were reaching out, providing support and who were invested in their wellbeing. These individuals were also willing to create space to receive in the relationship.
So much energy is spent trying to fix or "magnetize" ourselves in order to attach to others, or "magnetize" others so they will attach to us. However, healing and meaning come through connection not fixing, and are found in moments when we are able to offer pieces of ourselves to others while also make space to receive.