Attachment and Relationships, Part One

Rachael Clinton Chen and Dr. Dan Allender have a conversation about our individual styles of relating and how they can be, as Dan describes, a “kind of gravity” that shapes how we affect other people. We are not static beings, yet who we are and how we relate to others is deeply impacted by the beauty and brokenness of our upbringings.

“How would some of your very good friends describe you?”

Dan and Rachael discuss each other’s answer to the question before diving into how our core relationships and attachment affects how we relate to others.

Rachael: I think so few of us have done the work to let there be mirrors back to us with people we trust, to be curious about who we are and how we came to be.

Dan uses the illustration that we are like a grain on wood which changes in different seasons. Much of who we are is determined by what is happening around us—we do have an effect but cannot entirely change the way we are in the world. However, neither are we static beings.

Dan: We do have a gravitational pull. More often than not we are blind to it because we’ve either justified it or give it a category that sounds insightful and often is good. On the other hand, what it doesn’t take into account is that we’re not a given at birth.

How we discern if our style of relating is becoming more Christ-like is, ‘How does it then actually help us to love and receive love well?’

Towards the end of the episode, Dan and Rachael invite listeners to grasp the reality that our lives can hold both brokenness and beauty, and to begin to allow ourselves to see the effect we have on others.