Saturday, August 15th, 2020

R Relationships by Dr. Bill Austin
When Your Security Blanket Is In The Dryer


What makes change difficult is not knowing
what life will be like if we leave our "old securities."

We have been examining why it is so difficult for some of us to change. What makes change difficult is not knowing what life will be like if we leave our "old securities."

For many of us, change is like the Peanuts character, Linus, having his security blanket in the dryer. While there, he has nothing to hold onto.

What is our security blanket? It is not the same for everyone. For some of us it is the "familiar." We may be upset when our partner changes the way she relates to us. The old triggers that used to get her to do what we wanted now don't work. We are not sure how to relate to her or may even question whether or not she loves us. In an effort to get her to go back to the old way of relating, we may even threaten her or get angry with her.

There are some of us who try to make the changes for a healthier life but find it very difficult. The change brings up all our insecurities. So instead of working harder to make it work, we return to the old life and settle for less.

When we choose to "play it safe" and do not take the opportunities for a healthier and more fulfilling life, we do not feel as good about ourselves. Not taking the challenge because of fear is a statement of not believing in ourselves.

I dreaded the day one of my parents would die. How in the world would I get through that? Then one day during our family reunion, my father had a heart attack and died immediately. What a shock! No warning. I felt like an orphan. I began feeling a sense of insecurity because I did not realize how much a part of my security system my father played.

Even though he did not have to help me, I still knew he was there for me. Now he was gone and I had to re-identify myself. It was a difficult experience going through the loss but I discovered new strengths and resources. I emerged a different and stronger person because of the change that was forced upon me.

When our security blanket is in the dryer it can be a time of self-discovery. We find ourselves handling situations we never dreamed of handling. We find untapped inner resources we never knew we had. It becomes a time of stretching beyond our self- imposed limitations.

It is also a time of discovering what is really important and dropping some of the baggage that clutters our lives. It becomes a time to reach for dreams that we have put on hold. New doors open as old doors are closed.

Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through

Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700