Going through loss or bereavement teaches you a thing or two about attachment.
Love, connection, compassion and empathy are human conditions.
They’re innate, genetic and what makes us truly unique amongst the animal kingdom.
What makes us human.
For most of us, these things come from the subconscious.
Which is OK; normal; right.
But what often comes with it is expectation and attachment.
The buddhists have a lot to say on attachment.
Here’s my take.
Unhealthy programming from early years makes us fear detachment, rejection, separation.
In early years, of course, the attachment to these things can literally save our lives.
But as we grow older, we often confuse love with attachment and vice versa.
Because of the subconscious programming.
We think, ‘I can’t live without this or that…. Or him or her’
And we transfer our feelings of love to feelings of attachment.
Which can become unhealthy.
Because then what happens (and I speak from experience), is we begin to loosen our personal boundaries.
Because we are so attached to a person, place, circumstance, we become scared to lose it.
And sometimes when we become scared of losing something, we let behaviours, language, situations that actually make us FEEL bad, sad, angry, uncomfortable etc slide….
We turn a blind eye.
We become accepting.
And we think that we just MOVE the boundaries. Because moving the boundaries is better than losing someone / thing.
But the reality is, we don’t.
We are faking it.
And eventually BOOM – it ends in tears.
Because when it really comes down to it, we can ‘brush over’ things that upset us because we are too attached and scared of loss…..
But they are there. And at some point, we’ll be faced with them….
HOWEVER, here’s the thing that anyone who has loved and lost (and I’m not just talking about people, I mean places, homes, pets… anything that we have gained an [unhealthy] attachment to)…..
We lost. We got over it. And we realise that NOTHING is irreplaceable.
I don’t say this as a cynic.
I don’t say it as a scorned or bitter woman.
I say it as a woman who has learned that in this life, our self-love is the most important.
I say it as a woman who has lost grandparents, a parent, who lives on the other side of the world to her ‘twin’, who has a son who undoubtedly will leave home at some point in the not too distant future.
I say it as a woman who has lost and found and lost and loved again and lost and simply been OK on the other side.
I’m not saying loss doesn’t hurt. And I am not saying I don’t LOVE my family, friends, places with ALL of my heart.
Actually I think in my 37th year I love harder and deeper and fuller than I have ever loved.
But I AM saying that I am not REALLY attached to anything.
I am not so scared of loss any more.
And you know what? That is not only GREAT for me… It’s GREAT for everyone and everything in my life.
To the people who are in my life, it means they’re in it because I choose them from a healthy place of self-love. Not because I am scared of ‘what if’ they aren’t in it.
It means that I communicate openly and honestly and I honour myself and my feelings and I am not ashamed or scared.
And it means that if my boundaries are too restrictive, too lose, too ANYTHING for anyone else, then that’s OK.
Because it’s my choice and with or without the person/thing/place, I’ll be A-OK.