“Attachment is the source of suffering.”
Attachment is an important aspect of a developing infant. Attachment theory have been helpful for creating the right emotional support for infants, especially orphaned and abandoned children.
Through the knowledge of attachment theory, we can intervene in the child’s instabilities due to unfortunate neglect or abandonment, to raise a better and emotionally stable infant.
Children can be attached to their caregivers in various ways depending on the environmental factors. It could be a secure attachment, ambivalent insecure attachment, avoidant insecure attachment or disorganized attachment.
Of all these major four attachment types, the secure attachment is the ideal.
Secure attachment is very important for children to develop stable emotional and psychological wellbeing from the sense of security this attachment gives to them.
I have no plan to delve into attachment theories here. So I’d discuss the attachment to things and people that adults often get themselves into, and it’s implications on our emotional wellbeing.
It is true that secure childhood attachment with primary and secondary caregivers does affect the adult’s relationships positively throughout the lifetime, making it easier for them to form stronger healthy bonds socially, and connect authentically with others. It has been found to be influential in their development of a healthy self esteem, emotional stability and lower chances for the experiences of anxiety and depression.
However, the attachment I’m more particular about this moment is our difficulty to let go of toxic people and things because of our clinginess to them.
This may have to do with the type of attachment we might have had in early childhood. But it’s not only limited to it.
When we become too attached to anyone, or a situation, to assume that we cannot live without them, we make ourselves victims of what should have been a source of pleasure. This is where I am concerned about.
Take for instance the fear of loneliness that can make someone remain in a toxic and abusive relationship. This person may feel incapable of living alone because he feels life would be too bad or meaningless without the abuser. Even though they may have never really experienced being alone to know if that was true or not. For these lots, their life is a constant dependence on their abuser because of their attachment from the limiting beliefs. They feel too attached to let go, even when the relationship has become very toxic and risky for them.
This may be the reason some people return to their abusers. They feel unable to cope in a new and unfamiliar environment because of the initial discomfort sudden change can cause.
Now, this is a terrible ground to stand on. As much as we need one another for the “feel good” connections and social interactions, we must also realize that we do have options. Unfortunately, attachment can blind you from this fact. So you keep returning to your vomit, rather than create new environment through new connections.
As an emotional wellness coach, I’ve seen this play out in different ways from my experience in helping individuals develop a stable emotional environment.
Some people would list all the possible reasons why they cannot leave the environment that acts as trigger to their already traumatized life because of their fear of an unknown terrain.
Attachment exists because of fear of the unknown new environment. So you’d rather stay with what’s familiar. The more you reaffirm this negative emotions and feelings from this familiar environment through the negative ways it leaves you in, the more devastated and sad your life becomes.
People get attached to things, persons, situation, feelings. In fact, we can be attached to anything that feeds us a familiar experience which we continue to crave. So when I mention being attached to an environment in this case, it could mean any of these, depending on what you’re attached to.
When we become attached to anything, we feel stuck because we’ve denied the energy in that experience its free flow. We wish to hold on to any experience we are attached to. Now, this is where the problem lies. Because everything in life is in constant movement due to the energy in them. Which is a good thing. But our desire to be attached to the experience is an attempt to keep it stagnant, thus leading to our suffering. It is from this angle we suffer from being attached to things and people. This is an emotional torture because of the friction your resistance can cause.
So when you’re attached to an event that had passed, it means you attempt to block it’s continuous energy from being released into the flow. You want it fixated in that moment. This isn’t helpful to your emotional wellbeing.
If this happens to be a bad experience that could affect your emotional state, you’d be in perpetual unhappiness because of your desire not to let go of that event. So you carry the environment of that experience around you, even when you happen to be in a different environment. This can make it difficult for you to be present or to move on from the situation. Not good!
We must learn to have an experience and not be stuck there with it. We must avoid attempts to clingyly hold on to the moments that have passed. We can always create new ones. But by being attached, we show that we’re unaware of our capacity to create new realities. Herein lies the many problems attachment can create.
Attachment is a serious issue when it comes to relationships of any kind: whether with people or with our possessions. It doesn’t allow us to see beyond the experiences we’ve had from that environment. It can keep us living in the past, and assuming that’s all there is to life.
The way out of this is by embracing fluidity. If you can think about water, then you can understand what it means to take the form of a fluid; constantly flowing and being renewed. This way, we’re not stuck in our yesterdays. Neither too focused on any particular experience. We realize how each new flow can bring about a new experience. And how even our emotions are designed to flow. This is why emotions and feelings are fleeting. So we don’t feel stuck with any particular feelings or hold on to the emotions from them.
Rather, we develop the capacity to allow a flow of the energies in our experiences. With time, we learn to worry less, we feel less anxious about situations, and we also learn to not hold on too much to anything or anyone, more than we really should.
Fluidity enables us to be like water, it helps us take up forms without becoming deformed. It is through fluidity we can be creating our own experiences and happiness, because of our freedom from being stuck with anyone or anything.
This habit can help us overcome unfortunate issues like the loss of a loved one during the grief period, a job loss, divorce, bad events and unpleasant situations. It is a helpful way to train our mind on continued renewal. Thus keeping us moving as every new day arises. This way, we are constantly seizing the opportunities to create new memories. It’s like constantly updating our software to new updates. Isn’t this beautiful? I believe it is.
It is a habit you should imbibe; one that can be very helpful to your emotional wellbeing.
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To your healing, love and fulfillment.
Joy Iseki, #thecounsellor
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