It’s not like I don’t experience personal attachment to certain other people. I just don’t actually believe that I can’t be happy unless other people show up in a certain way.
For me, attachment is the personal desire to carry forth what’s in the memories about myself in relation to another person, place or thing. The way I see it, attachment is not synonymous with ignorance…attachment happens automatically…ignorance is believing that the sense of attachment means that my well being is dependent on another person.
Experiencing my first husband taught me a lot about attachment and what it really means to observe attachment from a detached state of awareness. Specifically, I took the experience of being attached to him as “proof” that I should help him become the man of my dreams…which according to his words, he was perfectly willing to do until only a few months into our marriage.
Once I got pregnant I felt very afraid that he would not make a good husband or father because he went back to doing meth and drinking heavily with his friends…plus he seemed very concerned about the weight I was gaining. After this man had sex with and impregnated my sister, I was so distraught, it felt like my life was over, and I could hardly function enough to take care of myself.
At one point, I was so confused that I thought I could get relief from my pain by rekindling my relationship with this man. So, I met him in Vegas for a weekend to try and work it out.
After spending two days together, the “wise woman” arose in me, and it was immediately recognized that no matter how much my mind was saying I needed this man, our being together was only serving a story in my imagination.
In that instant I had a profound experience of detachment…it became abundantly clear to my mind that attached feelings are no indication of what I should do or who I’m meant to be with. They are formed out of memories about happy, connected feelings I experienced with a person in the past, and how I can get more of those happy, connected feelings from them going forward.
Once this clarity came, I felt a sense of peace and appreciation for this beautiful man. I still told him I wasn’t going to be with him again, but the news came out of a space of unconditional love, and I sensed that he received it with empathy, respect and understanding.
From that moment on I was very clear about relating with the romantic partners and friends who flowed in and out of my life. No longer did I buy into attached feelings…I simply observed whatever was being shown to me in the moment, and I trusted my experience of that reflection to guide my thoughts words and actions.
It was less than two years from this moment of clarity before I met Tony, my beloved partner of 20 years. While it seemed pretty doubtful that I would ever have a long term relationship with any man, I was positive that I could enjoy every man because I was no longer confused by the stories that played about them in my mind.
I saw no need to get pissed at anyone for not reflecting what I was willing to accept as a lover, friend or life partner…And for the most part, I was moving joyfully in and out of relationships without the residue of attachment.
Of course there were times when I slipped back into the grip of attachment, but I could not tolerate the experience of it for very long before I woke up to my purpose of expanding joy in the moment at hand.
While this clarity did not spill over into relating with my children until more recently, my experiences in this regard have led to expanding joy through my role as mother as well…which I will likely share about at another time.
Love & Blessings!