We understand attachment as a very strong bond that determines how our personality develops, how we see life, and how we relate to everybody and everything that surrounds us. However, becoming attached has one inconvenience–nothing is actually our own.
Certains types of attachment are necessary. An attachment to a stable figure in our first years of life is necessary for proper cognitive and emotional development. On the other hand, insecure attachment fills us with anxiety and fear when we’re faced with the person whom we are insecurely attached to. In fact, all relationships maintain some component of attachment, although not all types are healthy.
Some relationships cause us anxiety when we think about losing them. To avoid this, we have to remember that whatever life gives us is only a loan. Being thankful is the first step to maintaining secure attachments with the people around us. The same principle goes for work, vacations, and whatever situation you’re in.
Nothing is yours: life is borrowed
Having relationships in which we feel safe is not a gift, but an art that requires will and practice. When only habit maintains a relationship and there’s nothing else that gives the relationship meaning, we’d be facing an insecure attachment. The ideal thing to do in this case for our mental hygiene would be to end this relationship.
If we don’t learn not to go, if we don’t let go, there will be very negative consequences. If the attachment is too strong for us and we stay tied, stuck to our dreams, fantasies, and illusions, the suffering will grow relentlessly along with our sadness. Buddha, in one of his famous quotes, pointed out that the origin of suffering is precisely in attachment.
However, not all attachments are bad, and there are some healthy and useful attachments. A secure attachment is based on knowing how to enjoy what we have at this moment. If we look at whatever is causing us suffering with a new simplicity, we could understand that it’s not the object that’s causing us pain, but the way in which we cling to it.
Our problem with attachment is that we perceive things as being permanent entities. In an effort to achieve our goals, we use aggression and competition. These are supposedly effective tools, but they cause us to destroy ourselves during the process. To avoid this, it’s necessary to understand that nothing is permanent. Life lends itself to you.
Dependence versus independence
Our cultural context invites us to live life dependent on others: parents, children, couples. Since we were young people instilled in us the idea of romantic love. In this type of love the members of the couple can’t and shouldn’t live apart from each other. However, this dependence on romantic relationships can be highly harmful. It can lead us to be totally emotionally incapable.
Dependence, like any other construct, is neither good nor bad in itself. To some degree it is always present in our lives. It’s something that we should all admit in front of the world and in front of ourselves. This admittance would allow us to recognize and acquire more healthy relationships.
At the point in time there is a tendency to see dependence with some degree of contempt, as if dependency is a sign of weakness. But if we stop to think, almost all aspects of our life are the result of the efforts of others. Our precious and magnificent independence can be more an illusion or fantasy that a tangible fact. To enjoy a fulfilling life we need friends, good health, and material goods. Interestingly enough, these are all areas in which we depend on others.
Our need for others is paradoxical. At the same time that our culture exactly the fiercest independence, we also long for intimacy and connection with a special and beloved person. The secret, then, is to love but not need. So remember: nothing is yours. Life lends itself to you. Start enjoying what you have.