The word attachment has always been an issue for me not with everyone but with a few people. I am not attached to things but I am attached to the way things should be done. I hold this tightly and because of that I get disappointed. I am also attached to the idea that I must be a certain way, perform a certain way and if I don’t, it bothers me. So, what is this word attachment? The word itself sounds so heavy. I thought I’ll read something about it.
Definition – Attachment can be defined as a deep and enduring emotional bond between two people in which each seeks closeness and feels more secure when in the presence of the attachment figure.
Gery Karantzas from Deakin university, Australia talks about attachment. I decided to use some of his thoughts from his article here. Gery says, how we bonded with our parents in childhood, how are parents dealt with our stressors and our needs forms the basis of our attachment styles in adulthood. How our parents responded to our distress in ways that met our needs, how they comforted and supported us when we needed them the most. All of this matters. But what if your parents responded to your distress by downplaying emotions, rejecting your pleas for help, or making you feel foolish, the child will learn not to trust their attachment figures for help, and basically just deal with their emotions and stressors on their own. This pattern continues even in adulthood.
What are the two attachment styles?
According to Gery Karantzas, Our own attachment style is the result of how we rate on two factors – attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance. Attachment anxiety ranges from low to high, with people high on attachment anxiety exhibiting a high need for approval, an intense desire to be physically and emotionally close to others (especially romantic partners), and difficulties containing their distress and emotions in relationships.
Attachment avoidance also ranges from low to high, with people high on attachment avoidance exhibiting a distrust of others, a discomfort being intimate and emotionally close to others, excessive self-reliance, and a tendency to suppress their worries and emotions.
People who rate low on both attachment anxiety and avoidance have a secure attachment. They’re trusting of others, comfortable with sharing emotions and being close to others, and tend not to downplay or exaggerate their distress. They also feel confident in problem-solving challenges and life stressors as well as turning to others for support.
Where I stand today
So, this word as I said is a heavy word for me these days. Am I even realising that I am getting attached to certain people? The word dependency is coming to mind. Are these two words co-related? So, from a young age, I was never attached to anyone. Not my mother. Not my father. Not my sister. None of my friends. Not my husband. My daughter, yes I am attached to very much. And these days it’s my teacher. I have been attached in my teens to a few people but very few. People have always called me aloof or alone or boring because I wasn’t attached to them and I was fine living on my own from a very young age.
I kept moving every few years from the age of 18 that I left people behind every time I left and it didn’t bother me. I was very good at keeping in touch but that also reduced over the years. So these friends just became memories and I found new friends wherever I went. Honestly, for me it’s been more like having a good conversation and so that person can even be a stranger and if I feel I connect with you and you connect with me that’s all I need. And so through my teachers community I have found a few people like that. People have felt connected to me too. But I feel most connected to my teacher. I am sure everyone who knows him feels that way so I am not the first person here saying this.
Yesterday, I was listening to a talk where a person asked this really famous guru in India, can I hug you? And the Guru was taken aback but the guru’s answer was unbelievable he said all you people have made a hug a commodity. It can’t be that way. When you give someone a hug do it with their consent otherwise it’s molestation. And for me personally, I rarely hug anyone. Unless I really really feel like it. I always give my daughter one and that’s about it. I have felt this strongly about hugs. I don’t need to give everyone a hug just because they’re leaving. I need to feel it. I know this is a bit out of topic but this hug thing always got me thinking and I am glad this Guru brought it up.
Coming back to this attachment I feel towards my teachers presence in my life and his teachings. So, these days, I tell myself. Miss light, this man might vanish into thin air. Then what? Then I don’t know. I don’t want to be in the dumps for sure. I want to be so strong that his being or not being there doesn’t effect my inner state. So how do I do this? I mean for heavens sake I haven’t even met this person. So, something that I think could work is listen to him for a few months and then I vanish into thin air. What do you think about this idea? I stop listening to him, his teachings, leave the community and then see where life takes me. You know like how two magnets are pulled apart and kept separately, I do just that too. Or I learn to strike a balance which is very difficult for me. I either go all in or all out at least at this point in my life. Also, this inner calling to support him in his vision right is so strong when I connect with him that I don’t know what to do with it. So basically, I have to tell myself that screw this inner calling and go live your life.
Honestly, I don’t have an answer to this today and I am still looking for it. And maybe I am over thinking it like everything else in my life. Maybe I won’t be that affected and maybe I’ll be just fine as time passes by. And maybe this was all meant to be. Who is to prove this?
I wonder why I connected with him after a year when I was just starting to feel a bit emotional and stressed in my life. I could have read a book. Gone on a walk. I had forgotten all about him. Not everything. He was still part of my memory and conscious but other than that I was doing perfectly fine but then he comes in and everything is upside down. I mean literally. In a very short time, I feel my emotions are all over the place. I am all over the place. I am enjoying his sessions and in the process I find myself. I connect so deeply with myself that I am shocked. And then of course I want to keep listening to him and see where it takes me. Because even though my life is getting fucked up, I am still standing tall. I am not afraid of anything. I feel quite in control when everything around me is falling apart. How? How do I not get attached to a person like this? I really don’t have an answer to this question so I am just going to let it float into thin air.
And does he even realise this? Does he realise the kind of things I am capable of doing to support him? I am not proving anything to anyone. I don’t need any awards or accolades. I just do what I have to do. I go all out. I like connecting and helping and doing things that bring me joy and yes it’s all connected to his teachings and now what am I supposed to do about this?
Leaving you with a quote from my teacher because seriously this one sided discussion isn’t going anywhere,
There are no big and small problems, there are only big and small attachments. NS
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