In the Imago theory we work a lot with terms such as safety and connection, but what does that mean?
“This is a safe space. A place where you can show up as you, lean into your whole self and just be present (to all of it). This is a space where you can: Dance. Be silly. Open your heart to another. Speak the poetry inside you. Listen with every cell and then be listened to. Hold grief in the one hand and joy in the other. Cry. Rest. Laugh loudly. Tell the truth. This is a safe space to feel (all of it) and to trust you are not alone”- Liz Lamoreux.
In the Imago theory we work a lot with terms such as safety and connection, but what does that mean. In this article, we are going to explore these terms more thoroughly because safety and connection are two vital principles for a healthy relationship.
So first let us look at connection as the first important principle. We see that when couples experience pain, (pain can refer to any judgment, criticism, disappointment, feeling invisible, or never being good enough), they disconnect. This leads to a parallel relationship. Where couples still live together but they are not living together. They sleep in the same bed but they don’t laugh together. They greet each other when they wake up by saying “morning” and greet each other before bed by saying “night” but that’s about all they say to each other throughout the day. It may be civilized and could feel more peaceful because there is no conflict but you feel alone, and isolated. And because no one wants to live alone and constantly feel disconnected this can lead to breaking up, affairs, addictions, or divorce.
Now, Imago Couples Therapy helps you to instead of increasing the pain by judging, even more, putting even more expectations on each other, withdrawing or criticizing, even more, we try and help couples to find the core reason for what is causing the disconnectedness and to work with that. We help couples to re-connect. We teach couples a way they can connect through dialogue. When a problem connects with another problem, you have an even bigger problem. Imago Therapy helps you to connect as human beings, soul to souls, essence to essence. Then the magic of life follows
Safety is another very important principle in the relationship. If your relationship is safe you can play, trust, be passionate, adventurous, curios give, and receive love without a doubt. But if the space in your relationship is not safe then none of that can happen. For example, when you feel unsafe in your relationship, you either hide away from contact or you want too much contact. That creates a nightmare in itself of feeling smothered or abandoned in relationships.
We must try and restore safety. Imago teaches couples techniques on how to restore safety in their relationships when they do not feel safe. Safe is to be yourself with the other. There is no blame and critique and sulking. The results of safety are playing, intimacy, exploration, nurturing, and growth.
So, what I hope you get out of this is that instead of focusing on what is “wrong” with your partner, rather ask the question of where is the disconnection and what is making the space unsafe which in result makes us live parallel lives instead of in connection.