OK, I admit it. I have been in recovery — recovering from strong attachments in my female relationships. I expected some women to mother and nurture me in a way I thought I needed or wanted. I tend to pull mothering energy from women because of what I put out, for sure. And those relationships would be wonderful for a while. But, at some point, the initial bonds and highs become complicated when attachments form. With attachment, there may still be pleasure but there is always fear…fear of losing that you are attached to.
Sometimes it is painful to face some things about ourselves, but it’s truly the only way to grow, heal and become more of who we are. We often beat ourselves up about our flaws, reject them or numb ourselves to them. Yet, they are part of the human condition and present wonderful opportunities for learning, growth and seeing the truth about ourselves.
What I did in the past was when I felt my (extremely high) expectations were not being met in a female relationship, I would persist and if my needs were still not met, I would just withdraw emotionally and say something like, “She can’t give me what I want anyway, so why bother? I need to back off so I don’t get hurt.” Yet I was, with my expectations and attachments, creating my own melodrama of pain.
It was in the throws of a recent attachment that I yearned for a better way than to emotionally withdraw. Asking for God’s help, I began an inquiry process which started with non-judgmental awareness of what was happening. Without assigning blame and guilt to myself or the other person, I became an objective witness of what was happening – I became aware of an attachment which was consuming me.
I then contemplated on why I was doing what I was doing, why the attachment formed, what unmet need I thought I had that I was pulling from the other person. It was during the contemplation process I was able to understand how my attachment to this woman coupled with my desire to control how she was going to express her love to me (based on my expectations) was in fact what was putting me into an emotional roller-coaster ride. But doing this without judgment or condemnation allowed me to have much more clarity of all the beliefs I had and what was going on as well as forgiveness and compassion for me and the perceived wrongs of the other person.
This non-judgmental awareness and contemplation leads to understanding which brings peace, because it is in the process of understanding that false beliefs become exposed for what they are and reality sets in. In my case, once I understood where my obsession came from (perceived lack of maternal love) and what I was doing in a relationship (wanting others to mother me and meet all my expectations, etc.) that I understood what was going on and see clearly that it’s really not the job of other women to fill a need I think I have. It also became clear that my attachment was setting me up for being trapped in a roller-coaster ride of emotions when what I really wanted was freedom to be who I am and love the way I wanted.
Once I developed this understanding of what I was doing, I affirmed in my prayer and meditation that “I love and am loved in the way that’s perfect for me” and it was this understanding and affirmation that brought into place circumstances (books, people, therapies, etc.) which would facilitate my healing, growth and enable reality to set in. My only role was to take responsibility to follow through on what I was guided to do. The reality is that no one else can make us happy, that love is there within and not something someone else gives us, that having no attachments allow you to enjoy everyone and everything at the exclusion of nothing, that no attachments mean ultimate freedom to be who we are and not be a slave.
Once I became aware, contemplated and developed an understanding and asked for Divine guidance by affirming that which I wanted, I found myself shift out of the veil of attachments to experience a freedom and joy that is indescribable. This all happened/is happening in God’s timing. All we can do is bring understanding to the situation and ask for Divine guidance, the timing is not up to us and we need to be lovingly patient that all that’s in our highest good will come to pass. The process of non-judgmental awareness and understanding begins the healing process in a big way; it’s not about forceably changing the current situation but about allowing the healing to unfold once there is awareness and understanding.
Being willing to want to overcome attachments takes courage. It takes a desire to step out of the ego’s orientation of fear and replace it with love and freedom. It takes surrender and trust that by letting go of what we hold so dear – our old beliefs, attachments, what we thought were important in giving us joy – and recognizing that the greatest way to experience great love and joy is to be attached to no one, freedom to be who we really are, etc.
That does not make us a ‘loner’ who loves no one. Losing attachments mean we are free to love everyone. The way I approach people now is that when I am with them, I enjoy every moment and when I am not with them, I pray for their health and wellbeing and give them the freedom to be whoever and however they want to be. And there are people I am more comfortable with and spend time with and that’s OK. It’s attachment that makes things very uneasy and complicated.
That is what love is, I have learned. Truly it is a feeling that is very heightened and not people-specific. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe – you feel on fire and at peace all at the same time. It’s an enthusiasm for life and people, regardless of who they are. It’s a sense that everything is going to be OK. I realize I am totally free to be who I am and that’s liberating. I don’t worry about how others are going to judge me in the relationship or whether someone is or is not meeting my expectations. My energies are now freed to truly live, love, give and do what makes me happy.
I am free. And I am filled with love like I have never experienced or understood before. Life unfolds with effortless ease. I truly thank the woman to whom I was attached as being such a wonderful catalyst for my healing and growth.