First posted to: https://surehopecounseling.com/2021/06/08/comfort-connection-confidence/
Think for a minute about why you do the things you do. Really ponder it. Do you know why? Sometimes we act out in ways that we do not understand, and at times find ourselves loathing these things about ourselves. Many of our motivations come down to craving comfort, connection, and confidence or fearing what happens when these are threatened or too much. Think about that. How have I soothed in unhealthy ways out of a need for comfort? When have I either been overwhelmed by connection with others, or desperate for it and pushed loved ones away because of it? Where do I go when I don’t feel worthy? Are they healthy means? Are they truly fulfilling?
These needs have been important since the beginning when God created man. Because of the fall (Genesis 3), what was once perfect comfort, connection, and confidence between God and man became severed. Now we struggle; now we grimace at the sign of discomfort and do whatever it takes to make that feeling cease; now we either fear losing connection or being overpowered by the people we are connected to; now we doubt who we are, our significance and our worth. If we are not taught healthy means of managing these disappointments and needs, we turn toward temporary solutions to mask the problem, or we deny that they exist. These feelings are indicators, telling us what we need and want. This is not a bad thing, but we must recognize whether the ways we are managing these feelings and needs are leading to health and fulfillment.
How can I take steps toward healthier and fulfilling comfort, connection, and confidence?
First, we must accept that on Earth on our own, we cannot find perfect comfort, connection, and confidence apart from Jesus. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 107:9 “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” He alone was the perfect depiction of what it meant to comfort self and others, to connect with the Father and others, and to maintain confidence in who he was and his purpose. “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and his righteousness, and all these will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). When we first seek the Father, and are tuned into Holy Spirit, we can be sustained in ways that fleeting comforts cannot provide.
It is still important to have healthy means of coping and managing these symptoms and feelings. Some practical ways to move toward healthy comfort, connection, and confidence are listed below.
Comfort – prayer, time in the Word, journaling, reach out to a loved one, stretch, listen to music, snuggle in a weighted blanket, go for a walk, watch a funny movie, build self-compassion by speaking to yourself as you would a friend, list things you’re grateful for, read a book, etc.
Connection – prioritize time with loved ones, create shared meaning or rituals together, kiss and hug your partner hello and goodbye, leave random notes for one another, try something new together, experience a new restaurant with friends, make eye contact with people when speaking with them, etc.
Confidence – meditate on your identity in Christ, prayer, memorize scripture, set small and attainable goals, focus on the positives, adopt a growth mindset, shift your posture and body language, prioritize self-care, reframe negative self-talk, etc.
If you have questions or want to continue this conversation, please reach out to a counselor at SureHope, and we would be happy to dig deeper with you.
-Callie Gross, MA, LMFTA – https://surehopecounseling.com/callie-gross-adolescent-therapy/