The emotional and mental umbilical cord is very challenging to cut, even when we are determined to do so. For many of us, there is a sense that we must trust that these relationships are there to serve us all through life. This often lends itself to approval-seeking behaviors, even in adulthood.
I used to believe that the umbilical cord was there for me to hang on to – to ask and get answers. In essence, I did not think I had the ability to make my own choices without verifying that they were the right ones.
Making decisions on my own without first verifying them with my parents caused problems in other relationships—with myself, and with my partner. Many of us hold the opinion of our parent(s) in higher regard than the knowledge and wisdom coming from ourselves. Do we do this out of a sense of responsibility, commitment or obligation?
These are important questions to consider when you find yourself going back to this relationship for approval or validation. Are you still nourishing yourself from an umbilical cord that is no longer? Is it confining you? When we do so, we remain the child in the relationship—looking for advice and direction from our parent(s) as if we do not have our own voice, opinion, or values. It is as if our inner voice has been silenced.
The umbilical cord is cut at birth as we begin the journey of developing independence. We learn to nourish ourselves. As we embark on our journey, there are various stages that lead us to a specific family dynamic. Sometimes it can feel too constricting and other times it might feel freeing. But we all must be clear as adults as to what the attachment actually looks like when it comes to the metaphorical “umbilical cord.”
Breaking free from validation and acceptance from those who raised us is a common experience in many adults of all ages. We must first see the patterns we have created and then take steps to make changes. How can you begin to turn inward and honor your own voice for validation, acceptance, and approval?
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