Photo by Lucian Gaddis, Canyonlands, UT.

Becoming securely attached in our most important relationships is something really huge and foundational to our development.  We all have the biological imperative (meaning a survival need) to attach. It is a largely unconscious drive, but with self reflection and development of our awareness, this aspect of our humanness can become more conscious.  Our need to establish and maintain relationships, and to feel secure within them, is essential to our well being on every level. 

The word “secure” means more than you might think!  A securely attached relationship is dynamic, adaptable, and vibrant in a way that the word secure doesn’t really imply.  So much is made possible in our lives and overall well being when we have security within our most important relationships.  Secure relationships are a springboard from which we can create, feel, express, and actualize ourselves authentically in the world.  The consistent, reliable, and sensitive nature of secure relationships provides us a sense of freedom from within in a very powerful way.

One way I like to understand the supportive and liberating role that securely attached relationships play in our lives is to use an analogy that makes the experience—if you’re not sure you’ve had it—more tangible. Consider our attachment experience as something like the muscular network of core muscles in our body.  A strong, stable, and integrated physical core provides enormous support and energy for the demands and challenges of moving our bodies throughout life.  Our core is an integration of all the muscle groups from our pelvis to our shoulders, working collaboratively to stabilize us and move energy efficiently through our center.  When our core is weak, or even just not trained to work in collaboration with all of it’s components, we don’t move efficiently, we develop compensatory strategies, have less energy available to us, and are more prone to injury.  All of these physical vulnerabilities can also affect our mindset, mood, and all the ways we meet the demands of life beyond the physical realm. It becomes difficult and energetically expensive to move through our lives with ease, grace, and integrity.

To me, attachment security is the psychological equivalent of a physically integrated, strong, and adaptable core.  With a physical core that is stable and integrated, we can move in an endless variety of ways and not expend enormous amounts of energy doing so.  With security in our most important relationships, we can move through our lives with a strong sense of support and confidence, we can face our challenges and recover from them, and we develop resiliency and compassion along the way.  Secure relationships provide us energy and fuel for living in alignment with our highest potential, which has infinite possibilities.  From the strength of our secure attachments, we can create, innovate, collaborate, and enjoy a rich and meaningful life.

So if you are working on developing your core strength, coordination, overall strength, and well executed movement patterns, you have a sense of what a strong physical center provides you in life.  Securely attached relationship can provide—albeit on a psychological level, which then impacts you physiologically as well—something quite similar.  And if you are someone who prioritizes working on your relationship security already, you might enjoy your exercise or movement practice more with this analogy, as you understand how essential it is to have a deep supportive relationship base to live—and now move—from.