Attachment Diaries: Chapter 2

I have surprised myself a couple of times recently with my self-opinion; it would seem, without any specific effort on my part to this end, that I love myself. I even think I’m relatively attractive! Go figure. After a lifetime of self-loathing and poor self-image, this is quite a shock — especially since I was working on this two years ago and kind of gave up. What’s really interesting is that I don’t feel any pride, giddiness, or other egoic signs in it when it happens, so I’m fairly sure it’s not an overcompensation.

Anyway, this newly discovered self-opinion has given me another idea for redirecting my attachment tendril: give it back to myself. (To clarify, I often feel these energetic strings connecting myself to others, and the ones associated with attachment have a curly, gripping quality, so I call them tendrils.) I’ve tried reclaiming them before, but I have a slightly different approach this time than last time; rather than just withdrawing them, it’s more like I’m giving myself control of them and the power to decide where they should go, and discovering that I want them directed toward me most anyway.

It’s not that I like myself more than anyone else. It’s more about the fact that I spend more time with myself than anyone else (since I’m always with myself), and so I’d prefer not to give my energy away to someone so removed, where I’ll see so much less of the beneficial effect. I’ll still give my attention and interest to others, just not attachment. This is probably much easier said than done, but at least I’ve set a clear intention.

Attachment is a crazy siphon that seems to oscillate at random: sometimes I’m possessive, which leads to me giving away too much energy trying to keep the affections of others; and other times I’m needy, which leads to energetic parasitism. When it’s reflexive, though, I can’t really be possessive, because I already “have” me (and, in fact, can’t get rid of me even if I want to); and neediness, in a reflexive tone, evolves into self-care.

So my inclination to channel thoughts of past partners into productive activities was useful, but skipped the important energetic step of reclaiming the tendril. The end result is the same — self-care — but the route there is much more effective, and makes it more difficult to have my mind randomly (and seemingly constantly) wander back to companionship.

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