As my romantic attachment patterns dissipate like the last wisps of a tornado, I begin to notice the gales of other types of attachment. The most noticeable one now is in relation to friendships.
Attachment patterns have been researched extensively in recent years. I feel that there are some useful grains of truth in these studies, as well as the associated theories. I am slowly developing my own concept of attachment patterns, but in this post I seek to outline some of my foundations.
About a week ago, some good friends of mine spontaneously dropped by for a visit. While they were here, I was overcome with anxiety, which they noticed and encouraged me to open up to them about. They made helpful observations and gave me encouragement, which I took to heart. Talking to them opened a door and shed light on my underlying issues of self-concept.
“Try not to confuse attachment with love. Attachment is about fear and dependency, and has more to do with love of self than love of another. Love without attachment is the purest love because it isn’t about what others can give you because you’re empty. It is about what you can give others because you’re already full.”
People trying to control how I feel or behave drive me absolutely bonkers. I am not a puppet or a toy — I have free will and a sense of self, not to mention thoughts and feelings.
It occurred to me that my personal usage of this word is incredibly narrow, and that many people reading these posts might benefit from some clarification.
I spent a long time arguing with myself about whether I should forcibly end friendships with people I’ve previously dated. Several useful realizations came out of that process.
“If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to all others, his love is not love but symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism.”
The attachments are spreading and dissolving. They are still very intense when they arise, but now they are reduced to aspects of experience — the smell of cologne, for example. Very interesting. I can’t help but wonder if this carries on perpetually, with the nature of the object diminishing in significance while the degree of attachment either maintains or increases… Or if it’s rather like the energy of a dying star, where it is the most intense just before it extinguishes itself. I like that analogy because star death creates the base components for all other beings, myself included. This gives me hope that something more intricate and complex may be born of the death of this long-living, intense energy.