Do You Fear Abandonment or Enmeshment?
Hey guys! I just finished one of my Live Q&A’s in my monthly membership program and I felt really inspired to share some of what we talked about with you. I want to talk about the fear of enmeshment and the fear of abandonment and how that pattern can keep us stuck.
As you guys know, I call myself the wounded healer, because I’ve had to go through so many of the things that I discuss and as a spiritual coach, I get to go deeper into your things as well. I was born with high sensitivity.
So, I want to take that ability for you today and go into the enmeshment abandonment structure. It’s interesting… people always ask me how this even happened to me – what is this about. It’s a fear of being your true self, I mean it sounds weird right? And if you really think about it, many of us are – this is what I was talking about in the beginning of my session this morning.
Our parents and their parents were not taught emotional intelligence in a way that is necessary for us to really in my opinion navigate this current world society, and also reach our fullest potential as “souls having a human experience or divine beings have a human experience”.
Many of us are conditioned to think we are humans that sometimes have a spiritual experience, but in my experience, it’s actually the opposite.
When we can see our true self, when we can start to connect with this understanding that you are powerful in your energy and your thoughts in your ability to heal yourself in many ways… When you can start to see that and you can start to sort of tune into this collective that’s going on – that’s supporting us at all times, we can start to remember who we are and we can start to process a lot of these emotional things.
Instead of running into fear of enmeshment or fear of abandonment, which in my opinion is a fear of true self intimacy of saying… gosh those things I deemed as bad are not good enough as a kid because in our society we’re taught that’s right, that’s wrong, that behavior means you’re bad, that behavior means you’re gonna get a prize.
You know the punishment reward system, we have that in school – we have that everywhere. And as kids, when we’re really young and we don’t really know how to compartmentalize things, we feel like our behavior or our goods and bads, rights and wrongs, are a reflection of our worth – our self – our identity. And so there’s a lot of people walking around in this world that have been labeled things that are on medications for things that are feeling like “this is what’s broken in me,” “this is what’s wrong with me”.
But you know, a lot of you email me about my idea of mental health and I’m not a mental health professional, I’m not a licensed therapist – I am a healer and a coach. And my opinion about it is very specific, but it’s just my opinion, and my opinion about a lot of these cases is that we make it worse by thinking that this is what’s broken or wrong with myself and I need a pill to cure it. Now, that does help a lot of people, because they have a label and a name to something, we’re like… oh my god I’m not crazy I have this and that could be helpful.
I want to talk about the times it’s not helpful… when people are sort of walking around thinking there’s something wrong with them and that’s why their acting this way or why they feel this way. In my opinion, that piece needs to be shifted even if you are being medicated and being helped in that way and having a label that works for you. I still think it’s very helpful to think this isn’t what’s broken or wrong with me. It’s what needs to be healed. It’s what is just different. It’s what needs a different set of coping mechanisms so that you can be your better self.
But I think a lot of times when we get stuck in this idea that’s what’s bad or wrong with me, this bad or wrong with me idea is what seeps into us and doesn’t allow us to become the full version of self. So, we have abandonment fears, we have enmeshment fears.
What’s enmeshment? An enmeshment is the thinking when someone’s gonna take me, my identity, I’m gonna lose myself in someone.
What’s abandonment? The thinking of I’m gonna be who I truly am and someone’s gonna leave me.
Both of them are keeping me away from my true self or sharing or being my true self. One, I’m afraid I’m gonna be totally in myself, but I don’t have boundaries around it so someone’s gonna take that. One is, I’m afraid to be myself because they might not like me and then I’ll reject myself too.
If you guys watch my Instagram or you watch my videos, you know that I’m in this cycle right now of talking about things having power over us. And I guess the reason I also brought up “mental illness” is I just don’t like that having power over you. Oh my god… this is my identity, I have mental illness.
You guys ask me a lot about mental stuff, but if that works for you and it helps you see yourself more positively, awesome! If it makes you think that’s what’s broken or wrong, I just want to reiterate that is what keeps us away from ourselves – it’s thinking there is something bad about who we are. That someone else is either going to reject and then we’re gonna agree with them or reject and abandon ourselves and have a bunch of fear.
We can give our power away to things and assign our power, or people can overwhelm us because we think we love them more than we love ourselves, because we’re projecting onto them the thing that we should be owning. What I like to help people do is anchor it so it’s really, really strong. And so one of the ways we do that isn’t when you’re in the face of abandonment or in the face of enmeshment.
I was just telling one of my clients earlier, you have to sit in that experience instead of fight, flight, or freeze, because our “trigger is fear. Fear is the absence of love, absence of true self. It’s what we had to protect ourselves, but now it’s actually not protecting us at all.
So, when that fear comes up, you’ll notice what you do when that fear comes up. For me personally, when fear comes up I run. I’m like… where can I escape to? What’s gonna save me? What’s gonna be better? I got to get away, this is not safe! That was my coping mechanism. And so what I learned to do within that coping mechanism is do the counterintuitive thing and sit there… do not move. It seems crazy, it seems scary, it seems powerless at the time, but it’s not, because what you’re doing is saying… I’m giving myself this space to know that I can handle this. To know that this might just be an emotion not a truth. This might just be an idea and not a reality.
If you’re in a situation where you’re not gonna be safe like literally, physically not safe, please leave. I’m talking about the emotional thing. What I trained myself to do is to sit in, sit in myself not abandon myself or the situation, because when you do that you’re giving it power. I’m gonna sit in myself and maybe the feelings will be too so overwhelming so I’m gonna have structure healing. I’m not gonna allow that to overwhelm me either because my emotions don’t have power over me. You have to tell yourself this.
If they do overwhelm you, please get help or work with someone on this. Don’t do this alone, please don’t. I’m talking about those of you who are like me or a version of me. Where you feel stuff and you’re like… oh my god, I’m gonna leave but I could probably stay… stay.
What do you feel when you sit in it? Wow! It doesn’t have power over me. I don’t have to escape, nothing bad’s gonna happen. But a lot of us feel like we get our power by saying, “Screw you, I’m out!” “I’m gonna leave this situation that doesn’t work for me”. That’s also ego… it doesn’t really feel powerful. It feels like you just ran from something.
So, let’s be honest with ourselves, right? Get real about how we feel so we can heal this thing that makes us want to run.
I was telling a story of something that happened to me a week ago. It’s actually a good example, so I’ll share it with you. I was at a dinner party, my own actually, and there was someone there that was getting drunk and acting out and I could tell the energy of the room was kind of noticing it. It wasn’t feeling very comfortable and instead of staying, instead of reacting, instead of doing anything – I removed myself.
I went into the other room and I took a moment. I was like… hmmm, I don’t really have to do anything other than just be with myself and realize that this isn’t my deal – this isn’t my scene. I’m just gonna relax and breathe for a minute and see maybe something smart will come to me about how to deal with this. Well, within a very short time, I looked outside and I noticed people had left that situation and congregated into their own groups.
There was a lot of eye contact like… hmmm not for me, let’s go talk and new friends will be informed, and this guy didn’t do anything. He kind of just melded into realizing that what he was doing wasn’t working. I think he just sat with himself somewhere. But it worked out well where the energy dispersed and it didn’t become a thing. It just started to harmonize in a new way and I think sometimes when we take our presence it almost engenders a participation for others to do that too and say, you know what it feels good. I’m gonna go over here and I’m talking to this person and he was probably like let me take a minute by myself and everything stayed good because I didn’t fight, flight or freeze and no one else did either. And when we don’t do that we don’t allow fear to have our power but we sit in our presence instead, our fear of abandonment and enmeshment kind of gets less because we’re not doing either one to ourselves. We’re sitting in ourselves. We’re not getting enmesh with someone else and we’re not being abandoned by anyone or ourselves and being afraid of that. We’re just chilling.
So, I hope this helps a little bit. There’s many different levels to this. This is just a, you know, a simple go-to that I like to do in the past and what I like to teach people. I hope that helps a little bit.
I love communicating with you guys in social media. So, if you’re not on my Instagram please go down there and click it and I’ll follow you back. And also check the links because every Friday now at 10am Pacific Time, I am doing a live Q&A in my monthly membership.
Love you guys and I hope to see you soon!