Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/

Well, this morning this quote jumped out and “smacked” me in the head:

“The pattern seems to be that when conflict arises, we compulsively choose from a variety of ill-fated responses. A common one is to jump headfirst into our fear of abandonment pool at the first sight of conflict.”

Anonymous,1987, Days of Healing: Days of Joy, Hazelden Meditation Series, page for August 4.

Perhaps my reaction to reading this was influenced by a dream I had while sleeping last night. In the dream I was sitting on a chair in a centrally located small room in a house. The room  had two open doors. From my perch I could view people coming and going and “having a life” all around me, but still I sat as if chained to my chair. One of the people walked over to me and asked me how I was. I immediately started crying and told this person that the person I lived with in that house would not let me leave him.

I remembered this dream and the feelings of sadness and of being trapped when I awoke. Reading the above meditation quote gave me some insight into what this dream may have been trying to tell me. There have been times in my life when I lived my life devoted to the person I lived with while allowing myself and my needs to be basically ignored—-yet I stayed in those situations by actively denying my own pain and failing to acknowledge my own needs, including my need to escape from my self-imposed prison. In both reality and in my dream there were never any physical chains or locks to keep me stuck where I was. I created my own prisons. The above quote suggests to me that perhaps my life, for the most part, has indeed been based on avoiding conflict and the fear of abandonment and being alone.

In my early adulthood I used alcohol to avoid pain, fear, and conflict—-and to drown my own needs, feelings, and wants. But even with decades of sobriety, I still managed to lock myself into another unhealthy situation for almost ten years.  I am happy to report I believe I am free from self-imposed prisons and my fear of abandonment now that I am staying grounded in a spiritual foundation. I have realized I am never alone, that God is always both with and within me. The stronger that belief grows, the more I am able to release anxiety and tension. I have found I love living alone, I love myself, I love my dogs, and I love the people I meet while sharing God’s love. If I keep reminding myself it is all about love, there is hardly any room left  in my reality for fear and protective self-imposed prisons.

Please comment and share any thoughts you might have about today’s discussion. May God bless and keep you.