When you meet a new potential partner, or even a friend, roommate, or coworker, do you ever find yourself racing to that proverbial finish line? Do you find yourself skipping chapters of your life, rushing along to the safety you’re looking for with that person?
Tune in this week to discover what anxious relationship rushing looks like, why we feel the need to do this, and of course, the remedies. There is so much pleasure, ease, alignment, and intention available to you when you can slow your roll, and I’m guiding you through how to begin doing so.
This is Feminist Wellness, and I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner, Functional Medicine Expert, and Life Coach, Victoria Albina. I’ll show you how to get unstuck, drop the anxiety, perfectionism, and codependency so you can live from your beautiful heart. Welcome my love, let’s get started.
Hello, hello my love. I hope this finds you doing so well. No shocker here, I am just loving Leo season. Just expect that every August forever and ever, I will gush every week about my love of the sunshine. The flowers, the warm days, the summer rains, all of it.
And I just feel such embodied joy right now. I feel so alive and free in my body, and I don’t ever want to stop talking about it because it feels so good. And one of my favorite times to do deep introspective work is when I’m feeling amazing, when I’m feeling so vibrant and alive and joyful and full of gratitude.
It’s such a good time for me to look at the things in my life, my own habitual thought patterns, that have led me down paths that I haven’t always liked in hindsight. Not from the lens of regret, because remember, regret is always optional. It’s never something you have to feel. It’s a choice you get to make or not make.
And I’m out here not making the choice to regret anything I’ve done in my life because it’s all been amazing teachers, incredibly painful teachers but teachers nonetheless now in hindsight on the other side of it. And so I want to dive in.
Last week, we talked about attachment styles 101. A top level view of a somewhat complex theme, with a focus on insecure attachment, specifically anxious attachment, which is the kind I see most in us externalizers. Folks with a thought habit of basing our sense of self-worth in other people, in their thoughts and feels, their needs, and always asking how can we meet those needs, often without even asking them, and how can we manage their opinion of us so we don’t feel anxious about ourselves.
From our codependent anxiety, we tend to cling, to put other people’s needs and wants ahead of our own, to get anxious about whether we are truly loved, wanted, and cared about, and all of that can lead us to rush into things, which is our topic for today.
When anxious attachment gets activated in dating, or in a new job, or in a friendship, even in our healing work, we can feel this desire, this urgency, this drive to skip steps. To skip chapters in the story of our lives because we’re working from the false premise that doing so will help us to feel safe because we don’t know how to sit with the discomfort of the liminal space.
The space of something being new and undefined, the space where the possibility of things turning out the way we want them to sits alongside the possibility of things not working out the way we want them to, the possibility of being rejected, ghosted, broken up with, fired, which all feels way too scary, too uncomfortable to even begin to allow for when our sense of self-worth and value are so tied to what we think other people think about us and whether they’re proving it to us in the right way or not.
This habit of ours of racing through discomfort can happen in avoidant attachment as well. It just looks a little different. In anxious attachment, we race forward into commitment, we leap before we look. And in avoidant attachment, we push commitment aside, neither looking nor leaping.
Either way, we’re making painful, self-harming choices in an attempt to feel control in an attempt to source safety outside of ourselves, and the results can be so super painful. In codependent thinking, as in anxious attachment, we believe that we need other people to make us feel safe because we don’t yet know and hear the yet there, my love, we talked all about yet thinking in episode 98.
We don’t yet know how to be truly deeply anchored in our own selves, to have our own backs, regardless of what other people think, say, feel, or do. From our childhoods, our family blueprint, we came to believe that we need other people to meet our needs. And so we race along meeting other people’s needs in an attempt to get them to want to meet ours.
We believe we need someone else to validate our worth, our desires, our thoughts, our everything, and we don’t feel safe and secure without a partner to task with doing that job of doing our internal work for us. Sound familiar? It totally does to me.
I did this for years. Jumping from relationship to relationship, U-Hauling so fast and not pausing to check in with myself to see if I actually wanted what this other person has to offer. Instead, I dated the next person who seemed to maybe possible maybe offer my safety. The next person who liked me, who made me feel wanted, valued, important enough for them to want to date, not pausing to see if I really wanted to date them.
See, I wanted to feel chosen. I didn’t feel chosen growing up. I felt like a bother, a burden, a nuisance, too loud, too rambunctious, too alive, too wild, an annoyance. Someone easily abandoned emotionally, someone who’s needs weren’t much of a consideration at all, so I learned to push my needs and wants down. Push them aside until I wasn’t really quite sure what I wanted for myself.
And I totally knew what I could do for everyone else, how I could please everyone else, how I could ingratiate myself to everyone else in a subconscious attempt to get them to stick around so I could feel safe.
And of course, the irony is that when you’re in relationships, you’re not actually actively choosing. When you’re racing ahead and skipping steps and chapters, things just don’t actually work out because you’re not choosing for you.
You’re choosing from fear. And while that’s super understandable, I honor why I did that in the past, it doesn’t actually lead to any kind of real safety. Because fear is a lousy guide for living, and I should know. Fear was my habitual primary driver in so many of my dating choices. Not to mention graduate degrees.
One of the things that can happen when we have that energy, that frenetic energy inside us rushing us along to what feels like safety is that we can either misinterpret our bodily signals, or we can run roughshod over them. And I’ve absolutely done both, so if you’re like, ugh, it me, it’s okay. No need for guilt or shame here.
You’re always just doing the best you can with the skills and tools that you had at that moment, right, my tender ravioli? So if you’re going to there, just pause before getting mean to you. Compassion always gets you so much further than self-flagellation.
So I can think back to a relationship where the red flags were blowing in the wind from minute one. Many of the things that ended up being real sticking points, real pain points in that relationship were things I noticed, even wrote about in my journal, told my friends about right at the beginning.
It’s like, wow, those red flags, I saw them, I took note. I actually broke up with the person I’m thinking about here really early on, told them this wasn’t the right thing for me. And this was many years ago and honestly, I didn’t trust myself and I didn’t know how to listen to myself, my bodily wisdom, my intuition the way I do now.
I didn’t trust my discernment or my inner voice. And so even though I saw those red flags, I pushed right through them. And when something traumatic happened in my life and any time I say trauma, I mean it in the clinical sense of an actual life threat response.
So something traumatic happened and this person who I saw all the red flags about, they showed up for me. They really did. They were great in that moment. And my inner children anxious attachment, which was still very much alive in me leapt to the fore to say this must be a safe human, and maybe this person will continue to protect you and care for you, so go ahead and ignore those red flags, just keep moving forward, race forward, rush forward.
That sounds smart, even though you’re actually not that into them, you just saw that you’re not safe on your own, so attach. And because those were my thought habits that created my feelings, I rushed it. I jumped in both feet first without really pausing to check in.
Impatient to feel safety, even at a deep cost to my long-term and honestly, my short-term joy. I let the oxytocin, that safety and love hormone, the dopamine, that motivating hormone, take the place of thoughtful consideration of fit, of my wants, needs, and desires, and oh wow, did that end poorly.
Nerd alert, my darlings, nerd alert. Oxytocin and dopamine are the hormones that flood you when there is a new like or love or interest in your life, and oh my goodness, those chemicals feel so amazing. And when you’re not actively embodied, when you’re living from the neck up versus living in your whole human experience, it’s so easy to confuse the chemicals of lust and desire with your intuition, with your gut telling you whether this is right for you or not.
Listen, my mammals, it makes so much sense that when your attachment system is geared towards safety as something external to you, of course you’re going to jump in. Of course you are and of course you did. That makes mammalian sense.
And we always honor that. We don’t beat ourselves up for it. And then we learn better and do better. We learn to pause and do thought work. And until we learn to pause and also do somatic work, to feel and to be truly and deeply embodied, until we learn how to take our lives back from our habitual, unintentional way of being, and learn how to get anchored in ourselves again, of course we let those chemicals rule us because we legit don’t know how to do life any other way.
I know I sure didn’t. And I’m so glad I know other ways now. So let’s talk remedies like we do. Top amongst them is recognizing, raising your awareness about your own desire, that habit, that pattern of rushing. And actively working to slow things down.
And this is the importance of all the tools we talk about here on Feminist Wellness is that we learn how to slow our roll, to not jump from having a single date to telling the story that we’re in love with this person, to pause before we start planning our picket fence life with them before we even know them.
To pause, to check in with our bodies, our minds, our spirits, our inner children, our inner parents, to see if we really want to be with this person, or if we really want the story that we are safer when we are with any person.
So that’s where the work lies, my darling. To be your own loving watcher, to slow it down, to pause, to connect with your intuition, your embodiment, to see the red flags, and to honor that inner wisdom that says hold up a second sailor, to not race ahead to the proverbial finish line, to learn how to source safety from within yourself.
And in that process, to learn how to meet your own needs. And from there, to voice your needs to a date, or a potential love interest, and to learn to listen attentively and with curiosity to how your requests are met, which for me was about learning to believe someone else when they showed me that they’re not willing or able to show up for me or my needs.
And so we get to stop doing what we do from codependent thinking, which is to insist and insist that someone else be who we want them to be, instead of who they actually are. To accept them in a radically honest way so you can decide if you want them. Instead of agreeing to be with someone because they want you. Instead of rushing into relationships, instead of taking your time, instead of cultivating patience.
And as I hear myself saying this, this goes for a job too. This goes for a roommate situation too, a new friend. We take the one who wants to take us, instead of really checking in and asking what we want.
So back to those red flags. While of course we all show up as the best version of ourselves as first, when there are red flags in the beginning, pay attention. Get curious. Getting curious, paying attention, being aware is so challenging when you’re rushing to make this person someone they may not be.
Instead, notice. Let your spidey sense be up to notice what you don’t really want to notice when you’re racing to make someone else your savior and saint while also your fixer-upper project. Pause, breathe, feel. Don’t just think, my beauty.
Notice how you feel around them. Notice how you hold your body around them. Notice your breath, your heart rate, your digestion around them. Get present in you for you and slow your roll.
And this is so vital because we romanticize people, and we fall for the narrative of what may be instead of what is because it makes us feel like there’s possibility instead of seeing what’s real. From our codependent thinking, we believe that if we fast forward to when we’ve totally fixed this person, saved them, taught them how to live right, how to be a good partner to us, how to want to meet our needs, how to want to show up for us, even when they’re showing us they’re not interested, we believe that then we can be happy.
And I have totally done it. I completely fell for the possibility I saw in my last partner. The change I thought I could bring to them, which by the way, they had no interest in. They didn’t want to change in the ways I wanted them to, and so I rolled right on through all of those massive red flags. And that’s on me. I didn’t listen to me.
And the beauty now is that I choose me first. And when you truly choose yourself over others, you stop trying to save or fix others because the fixer story goes that if I can save them, they’ll love me. They’ll love me, they’ll cherish me, then they’ll want to take care of me the way I want to be taken care of, and my beauty, my daring, my angel, fuck that noise. Seriously.
I am so done with that, for me and for you. And that happens when we rush. We jump feet first right back into that same painful pattern. When we slow our roll, we can say that we won’t take scraps. We won’t take crumbs. We will only accept the whole damn croissant and we’re not out here trying to turn a bagel into a croissant because that’s not our job. And it’s not in service of your pleasure or joy, and it’s not kind to the person you are trying to fix.
Cultivating patience is a vital part of this, my beauty. Learning to be just a little more comfortable each day with a discomfort of being on your own, of being alone with you, which is challenging from codependent thinking and anxious attachment because of our habitual unintentional thinking.
And I promise, my love, I truly promise you can learn to live in harmony with yourself. You can learn to be okay with you. You can learn to love you and not judge you and not want someone else to fill that gaping attachment and security wound in your heart because you can learn to show up for you, to have your own back in real, lasting, fulfilling ways.
And as you cultivate patience, you will learn to hear your own heart more and more and to trust it more and more. You can learn how to shift from that grasping anxiety into the peaceful ease of creating deep internal intimacy, a secure attachment with yourself.
And what’s also so very true is that the slow path is so much more pleasurable. You can use thought work to rewrite the discomfort that comes from waiting, the impatience to feel safe and settled.
I’ve had the opportunity to do it for myself and I have to tell you that shifting from that impatient got to get it energy to the energy of curiosity, anticipation, excitement, awaiting, wow, that all just feels so much better in my mind and body. It’s sexy. Impatience? Not sexy.
It’s not sensual, it’s not in flow. Impatience and rushing are about forcing your agenda and trying to control the world and other people, versus just being present here. And my love, there’s so much to learn from going slowly, from letting things be, from letting them unfurl, versus trying to force life to be what you want it to be on your terms, in your timeline.
There is so much sexiness and joy and connection and wholehearted living possible when you let life unfold at its own sweet pace like flowers in the sunshine. They have no interest in rushing or being rushed. They are patient. They focus on growing strong, sustainable roots before flowering and my love, if this is resonating for you, this theme of rushing towards the story of safety, then your work is at the roots.
To focus on what sustains and supports you on your own and in community before rushing in. Because no one, no one can be your roots for you. That’s just not how it works, my beauty.
So pause, attune to your breath, let’s take a moment if it’s safe for you to do so and attune to our breath together. I’ll invite you to bring your awareness inward. Again, I will trust you to honor your own nervous system. If it feels safe to go inward, do, if not, simply bring your awareness to your hands and just move them through the air in front of you.
If you are attuned to your breath, I’ll invite you to notice its pattern, its rhythm. Are you breathing at the top of your chest? Deep into your belly? Through your nose? Through your mouth? Just notice. And now I’ll invite you to take a nice breath in, long slow out. One more in, long slow out.
Attune to whatever calm and ease you may feel within yourself as you bring your awareness to your breath. Know and believe that it is possible for you to connect inward now and always and know too because science, that the more you connect inward with your own ability to regulate your nervous system in the chill moments, the more ease you’ll have in the challenging moments.
In the moments when there’s that part of you that wants to rush to the end without enjoying the middle. The moments when new and fresh and full of possibility feels more like scary and something to push through and against, you can come back to your strong and anchoring roots and can remind yourself as long as you stand strong by your own side, listening to your own heart, your breath, your gut, your intuition, as long as you pause to ask yourself what would self-love do now, you’ll be able to slow it all down and to connect in with your own truth, to feel more securely attached within yourself, versus letting your anxious attachment and codependent thought habits rule your life.
You truly can live with more pleasure, ease, alignment, intention. You too can slow your roll. This I know to be true. Thank you for listening, my love. If this topic and the topics I share on the show are hitting home for you, you’re going to want to join us for Anchored, my six-month program all about overcoming codependency, perfectionism, and people pleasing, and coming on home to you.
And listen, I get it. The change can feel scary, but my love, isn’t it scarier to think about things just staying the way they are? Status quo of this moment being the forever? Things never changing?
My darling, you will keep having the same old painful thoughts and feelings living in the same old way until you learn to harness the power of your prefrontal cortex and your somatic and bodily wisdom for your own and the collective best good.
If you’re ready to stop being mean to you, to stop rushing through life, to stop putting others ahead of you, and to start dating and living with intention, Anchored is for you. Head on over to victoriaalbina.com/anchored to learn more and to apply today. It’s filling up pretty quick and we get started on September 20th, 2021.
So if you’re interested, seize the day, my darling. Join us now. Alright, let’s do what we do. Gentle hand on your heart if that feels loving and supporting. Attune once more to your breath, that marker of our interdependence with all life.
Remember, you are safe, you are held, you are loved. And when one of us heals, we help heal the world. Be well, my beauty. I’ll talk to you soon.
If you’ve been enjoying the show and learning a ton, it’s time to apply it with my expert guidance so you can live life with intention, without the anxiety, overwhelm, and resentment, so you can get unstuck. You’re not going to want to miss the opportunity to join my exclusive intimate group coaching program, so head on over to victoriaalbina.com/masterclass to grab your seat now. See you there. It’s going to be a good one.