By Humberto Braga

For people raised in unhealthy family dynamics, sustaining intimate relationships can be EXTREMELY difficult. A core dilemma is that your longing for connection often conflicts with memories that tell you relationships aren't safe. This results in a "push-pull" intimacy dynamic, whether it manifests as a fear of entrapment ("I want you, but I'll find reasons to keep you from getting too close"), fear of abandonment ("I don't want you to leave, so I'll smother you until you push me away which confirms my fears"), or an erratic combination of both.


These unconscious, self-sabotaging tendencies may cause you to recreate unhealthy relationships that match what you're used to, instead of what's actually good for you. Yet you may continue blaming your partner for relationship problems, overlooking your own shortcomings. You may go on evaluating your intimate relationships with a "checklist", as if making a negotiation, as if true love were something that can be bargained or coerced... It can't... Loving relationships can only bloom and emerge to the degree with which we clear away the debris of past hurts shadowing our souls.


But how do we overcome the unconscious mechanisms of our own self-sabotage?


The irony of healing dysfunctional relationship tendencies is that you can't heal it alone. Books and videos are extremely beneficial supplementations to greatly accelerate the process of inner work, anchoring the embodied divine, becoming more emotionally resourced, and conscious of your blindspots. However, relationship issues are typically best healed through re-patterning yourself in a model relationship, such as with a somatic therapist or wellness coach. You need a person who can remain present with you in your deepest, unfiltered vulnerability and shed light on your blind spots. This will establish a reference point for trust, safety, and self-awareness, which can be revisited and reinforced to counteract your unhealthy conditioning. As with all things, consistency is key. By having a more frequent and deeper cultivation of intimacy and discernment with others and within ourselves, we can begin to maturely and mindfully navigate any inevitable turbulence from relationships.


You were born to love and be loved, just as a seed is made to grow. But love- mature, enduring love- must be cultivated. Love is a gift, but relationship is an art. Through the bittersweet crucible of life's learning, all that which is not love is revealed and burned away. You must prepare yourself for the depths of love, and be willing to surrender yourself to it. Love cannot emerge from behind your fortress walls. The love you attract and receive is in direct proportion to your ability to allow love to consciously radiate from within an embodied presence. Then, when you are truly ready and the dance of intimacy graces your life, you will be able to co-create a healthy relationship that is fundamentally a platform for personal growth in your capacity to give and receive love with your fullest being.


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