We form a range of energetic connections with others. Cords serve a purpose and are a way of attuning to and feeling at ease with people. The closer we become to another the more cords tend to form. Cords can become a problem where there is manipulation, control or discord in a relationship.
Cords often form from chakra to chakra and carry a meaning related to the function of the particular chakras. When we talk about people 'playing on our heartstrings’ I believe we are referring to cords attached to our heart chakras that can tangibly get pulled on. People also commonly talk about feeling 'tied to' someone, another reference to cords in our language.
Cords are usually a feature of our close, intimate relationships and although a lot of New Age thinking suggests that you should keep yourself free of all cords it seems to me to be unnecessary where relationships are working well. In healthy relationships these cords appear to be bright, beautiful and flexible, the energy flowing up and down them is supportive of both parties. When our relationships are difficult however the cords become damaged and the energy coagulates. Unhealthy cords can look dark and feel thick, slimy or knotted or be stiff and inflexible. In these relationships the cords are misused, usually unconsciously, to hold onto or control the other. The state of the cords will mirror the state of the relationship.
If someone is going through a breakdown of a relationship, or has had such an experience in the past that is still having repercussions for them I have found that cord work can be profoundly liberating. If one person leaves the relationship against the will of the other they may pull their cords out and leave their partner’s torn cords dangling into space, causing feelings of great insecurity. Sometimes this leads to relationships formed on the rebound as the hurt party tries desperately to plug their loose cords into someone else for the feeling of security it brings. Cord issues may also lead to desperate and obsessive attempts to try to get the old partner back again. In healing I work with the client to dissolve the unhealthy cords they have formed with others and heal any rawness left where a cord has been removed.
Our early cords are formed with our parents and children feel more secure when supported by healthy cords. Even in childhood cords can get damaged and become dysfunctional. The most extreme cases occur where there is abuse, but because parenting is a difficult job even loving and well intentioned parents can form unhealthy ties. The key time for this is puberty and into the teenage years as often the child wants more freedom and the parent tries to keep some control. Where a person has had an overly controlling parent or an overprotective one, they feel quite different after the cords are dissolved, as the parent no longer has the energetic hold on them and neither are they energetically clinging to the parent ‘holding onto their apron strings’. People who still feel they need to seek a parent’s approval or permission despite reaching adulthood often have problems with parental cords.
A common concern in cord work is the fear that a relationship will fall apart if the cords are removed. If the relationship is based on power games and dependency this may indeed happen, as both parties are free to look independently at what the relationship is about, however it may also allow for a fresh start. If the relationship is generally a positive one then healthy cords can be left in place and only unpleasant ones removed.
The classic work on cords and their removal is Phyllis Krystal's Cutting the Ties That Bind: Growing Up and Moving On. The most effective cord cutting is usually done with the support of a trusted helper or a therapist. If you want to read about the potentially transformative power of cord cutting I give several examples from my own life in my book Light Behind the Angels.