Attachment, or non-attachment?… That is the question…

Photo by Andrew Nicholson

I sometimes wonder about attachment…
In fact, many say that the only way to happiness is non-attachment.

I can certainly agree with elements of this. Attachment brings with it neediness, fear, desire, the pain of being let down or losing what one has become attached to… and for many it comes to mean detachment, the belief that if we never allow anyone close enough to affect how we feel, then we can never get hurt…

So I looked up attachment, and this is what came up “Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space (Ainsworth, 1973; Bowlby, 1969).”

Beautiful…

As a woman, on my own personal journey into learning what love really meant for me, I went through all of the stages of attachment. I am very relationship driven, thus I prioritise in my own life, and teach, what drives me most. I went through the fearful attached stage, the independent non-attached stage, the learning to trust stage, the spiritual non-attached stage, and then the complete surrendering to love stage… whilst observing with the most profound sense of awe how I changed and shifted through each stage of my journey; how the meanings of words such as vulnerability, attachment, masculinity and femininity changed as my understanding grew. I have no idea what stage of the journey I’m at right now, because I simply don’t know what I don’t know yet.. none of us do.

And in learning how to love, I allowed myself to surrender completely to loving him. We secured our bond. I allowed myself to become attached. Not in a needy way. In a surrendering way. It took more courage than anything I’d ever known.

I am holding nothing back. Not one thing. He has access to my soul. Emotionally, he could truly stamp out my light for a while if he ever choose to… but I will continue to love him this deeply regardless of the fact that he could hurt me.

And if he ever chose to leave, I would feel immense pain. I don’t believe I could be truly experiencing love if I were to feel nothing in a non-attached way. I think the biggest turning point for me, was in losing any fear of the pain that being in this place of vulnerability could potentially cause, and knowing that if I ever do, I will heal. If I don’t fear that, then there really is nothing to fear…

I wouldn’t make my pain about me or about him…  I would just allow myself to feel it. No hiding it, icing over it, avoiding it. Just feeling it. Unafraid, and unbroken.

The one thing I’ve realised, is that words have become meaningless. Instead, there is just a sense of being, rather than a trying to figure out whether there’s attachment, non-attachment, detachment and give meaning to those words… words can only be given meaning by the person reading them. It’s really how to define that moment of complete bonding, something that perhaps a mother or father would feel the moment they look into the eyes of their newborn child for the first time. Do they become attached – yes. Would they fear losing their child from that moment onwards – I would imagine they would. Is that unhealthy attachment? I’d imagine it more unhealthy if they didn’t feel it, because where has their humanity gone if so?

How can we try to define that moment of pure unconditional bonding with another soul into words, something so completely timeless and overwhelming? It’s impossible. All I know is what I feel when I look into his eyes, and the journey we’ve both had to come to reach this point. The sense of love and bonding spans lifetimes and can’t be boxed. There is no ownership or possession, no fear, just surrendered love – a pure giving of one’s self, and two souls being open to experiencing the deepest meaning of love. It’s such an exhilarating place to be.

The trust involved is immense and so beautiful. Yet we are both free spirits who have chosen to bond. I’ve become more courageously vulnerable with my heart than ever before. I cannot imagine looking at him and feeling non-attachment. Because when I look at him my heart soars, my soul expands with love, my being is so appreciative of every moment that he is in my life. Yet my attachment to him is pure love. I would continue to love him even if he left, and I would never try to stop him. I love him so unconditionally that all I want for him is his happiness, regardless of whether that is with me or not. Even though it would hurt like crazy were it not…

I never wish to reach a stage where I would feel unattached to whether he remained in my life. I simply can’t equate that with having the courage to really live, to really feel… to really, unconditionally experience the deepest kind of love imaginable…

It would be like taking an immense risk, whilst knowing without doubt that it’s all going to work out just fine. Except that wouldn’t really be a risk at all. A risk is when you do something that you know can hurt you, yet you do it anyway…

Just like vulnerability, I have learned that attachment can come from one of two energies… fear, or courage. Whichever energy drives either your vulnerability or your attachment, will also mean it becomes either one of the most restrictive or liberating, painful or exhilarating, experiences you feel…

It took so much courage to allow him into this space… one of such deep connection with another human being. He treasures it beyond words. As do I…

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