Circle of Security: A tool for peaceful relationships


This month’s Bloggers for Peace challenge is: Peace at Home.

I don’t know if I will ever experience peace in my home – mostly because I don’t ever, truly experience peace inside of myself, for more than a fleeting moment or two.

Things I’ve been labelled with, or have chosen to label myself with, like depression, anxiety, co-dependency, and hypomania are symptoms of the inner turmoil and chaos, which have been such an ingrained part of my existence that it predates my conception and is probably just as much nature, by now anyway, as it was nurture – or lack thereof.

I finally started doing more than just collecting the data and figuring out the likely diagnoses – after all, “knowing is [only] HALF the battle,” right? The other half is figuring out the plan of attack based on what you know.

One thing I’ve been blessed with is the opportunity to participate in a therapeutic parenting group on attachment, Circle of Security. The timing of this opportunity was serendipitous, since I doubt I would have been emotionally or psychologically capable of effectively processing what I’ve been learning, even six months ago.

The timing has also been problematic and inconvenient due to childcare issues and the ongoing issues with our family’s financial issues relating to Keith’s job. This has been the “short” course of eight weeks (there is a 20 week comprehensive one I should probably seek out), and I’ve missed and, thankfully, been able to make up two of them.

The videos, handouts, and group discussions have helped me see and understand in clear and comprehensive ways, why I feel and act the way I do, the things that drive my brand of crazy, and how it not only has impacted my parenting relationships with my kids, but every other relationship I have ever had with anyone and everyone.

The tools and information provided in Circle of Security are not only guiding me in being the Bigger, Stronger, Wiser, and Kinder parent little Luna needs me to be, it has taught me where to see my own disconnects and helped me to understand in deeper and more profound ways what and where the ruptures are in the relationships with my adult children and other important people in my life. This program is primarily a early childhood parenting/caregiving curriculum, but I believe that it is also something that can be effectively adapted to anyone going through a healing and recovery process regardless of parenting status.

Just as in February I had the breakthrough, with the help of a friend who is a college professor and MSW, that I probably have cyclothymia, this course has helped me to understand that in all likelihood I grew up with Disorganized Attachment . I am able to see and understand, on a much deeper level than ever before, exactly why my life and relationships have been as chaotic, conflicted, and painful as they have been – and it isn’t just the dysfunctions and unresolved issues of everyone else; a concept I’ve paid lip service to, but have been in actual denial over.

My relationships are inconsistent, disorganized, and conflicted because I grew up in inconsistent, disorganized, and conflicted ways, surrounded by multiple generations of caregivers who weren’t capable of being or teaching any other way. I have carried that forward into the relationships with my own children.

There is an ocean of grief inside of me that is rising and needs a constructive outlet and time to rise and recede – as in the time of Noah, when the rains began to fall, the barriers to the depths broke apart and waters rose to meet the rains. I pray that my ark is built to withstand the coming flood. I pray also that I remember to rely on the provision to carry me and my loved ones through so that, when we hit land again, we have all we need to start fresh.

I cannot expect the other people in my life and in my home to choose peace with me when I am not able to be at peace with myself. If I am not attached and loving with myself, it is nearly impossible to be attached and loving with them.

Peace in the world begins with peace in the home. True peace in the home starts with peace inside of ourselves. True peace inside ourselves means being willing to go through the inner storms and accept that whatever we are experiencing externally is a reflection of our internal selves, then taking action to address it, in compassionate and loving ways.




  1. And to get to that peace, you’re probably going to have to go through some pretty big storms. Hunker down, and tie yourself to something that won’t float away.


    1. Diana,
      Thanks, I’m getting there. I’m coming to understand and believe that peace is neither a place or destination but something that is learned, built, and chosen over the course of time. Therefore, I’m learning to be peaceful, and it’s a huge learning curve.



  2. I love your last paragraph, Kina. It sounds like all the struggle has brought you some clarity. I am doing some research for an article and am glad to report that research in neuroplasticity shows that even genetic predispositions can be changed over time by thinking different thoughts. May you find peace and joy. {{{hugs}}} Kozo


    1. Kozo,
      Thank you for that reminder. Neuroplasticity was mentioned, along with a handout of an article on it, in one of the classes in the Circle of Security group I’ve been participating in.

      Between that group/class and the 28 Days To A New Me groups, I’m doing a lot of physical, emotional, and mental work to change the patterns and direction of my life. I’m kind of the poster child for Amy Grant’s song, “It Takes A Little Time.”

      Blogging and connecting with your monthly Peace Challenges are part of the process and journey as well. Thank you for putting your passion to pursue peace in action.



  3. I don’t know if I will ever experience peace in my home – mostly because I don’t ever, truly experience peace inside of myself, for more than a fleeting moment or two.

    I believe that finding peace inside oneself if the key to finding peace anywhere. Of course, I’m not very good at doing that myself. In fact, my wife pointed this out to me recently by sending me an email with a quote from Rabbi Tzvi Freeman:

    “Rebbe!” the man cried. “Nobody gives me respect! Everybody steps all over me and my opinions!”

    —“And who told you to fill the entire space with yourself, so that wherever anyone steps, they step on you?”

    It’s something I already know about myself, but it takes a great deal of focus and attention on a daily basis to try to not fill the entire space with me. However, the more of “me” that I withdraw from the overall environment, the more that environment fills with peace and surrounds me with calm.


    1. James,
      Thank you for sharing that. It’s definitely part of the equation and something I need to remember in my “poor me” martyr syndrome moments.



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