What is this thing about non-attachment, why is it so important to strive for it? What is this talk about not being ‘at the effect’? I get that it must be nice to not be in pain, or suffering, or discomfort over things that happen but if you aren’t affected by anything, than why bother doing anything? If you aren’t affected by your husband going out one day and never coming home again, why where you married in the first place? If you aren’t affected by what you eat, why would you ever eat organic? If you aren’t affected when your kids are feeling sad or upset, why did you bother having them?
I have looked deeply at this ‘non-attachment’ idea and this not being ‘at the effect’ idea and I am not sure it’s that attainable for someone who feels deeply and operates from a place of connection and sensitivity. There are many times when I would love to be non-attached to a situation or outcome, however, if I didn’t care, why would I even be there in the first place, why would I have invested time and energy in it? Do I want to live a life where there is a lack of passion, compassion, or emotion involved in my life? I don’t think so and yet here I am, feeling envious of those who can detach, those who don’t feel as much, those who don’t care as much. I am sure many will say, I do care, just as much but really how is that possible if you aren’t affected by it?
Perhaps I am just so far off mastering this enlightened way of being, that I can’t even grasp the concept of, being able to be, completely in love with something, invested, passionate, involved, intimate and committed to something and also not be at the effect of how it looks, feels, sounds, tastes, interacts or behaves? Perhaps my road is very long but at this point in time I am even wondering if it’s a road that I want to travel. I am yet to meet someone who does non-attachment lovingly and consistently and is living their truth. We all have our moments I’m sure, I love my daughter, more than anything but I can be non-attached from her misplacing a favourite toy because I know it will show up and if it doesn’t, I know that she will eventually have another favourite toy. However, I am not detached from the very real pain that she feels at the loss, temporary or otherwise. I care for her deeply and her pain is my pain and so I will do my best to not only support her through it, as ridiculous as the issue may seem to me but I will also take steps to rectify the situation. I will look for that toy, I won’t just “trust” that it will show up, or convince her that her attachment is unhealthy and unnatural. There’s a lot to be said for trust but there is also a lot to be said for being a determiner in your own life. We are no longer just animals living off a primal brain only hardwired for survival & procreation, we are so much more than that, most of us anyway and we are more than that because we invest emotionally in things and in people. We become attached. When we become attached we are motivated to take action.
Why has attachment earned the label of being unhealthy and unnatural? Attachment is what mothers and babies have, without it the next generation would not survive and certainly wouldn’t thrive. Attachment is what makes a hero run into a burning building to save another persons life. Attachment is what makes people want to fight for the environment, to stop coal seam gas and to regenerate our forests. Attachment is behind every activists calling, every parents striving, every committed pair bonding, every tear we cry over the death of a loved one, pet, relationship or project. Attachment can give us more depth, more compassion, more empathy, more joy and less selfishness. Perhaps if we started calling it bonding instead of attachment people would feel differently about it? The fact is that people bond, love songs are not a recent development, dying to save your children is not a modern phenomena.
Now, I am a woman and while I can only speak on my own behalf, as a woman, I have many things in common with other women and as a woman, I am at the effect of the hormones that are generated, released and experienced within my body. When a woman orgasms she releases oxytocin, many of us know this as the love hormone. When a woman births naturally she releases oxytocin, when a woman breastfeeds, she releases oxytocin. It is our main bonding hormone, I will say it again, it is released for women, during orgasm, birth and breastfeeding. At the height of pleasure and of pain, in the depth of surrender and intensity, this same hormone is released with the intention of creating feelings of pleasure, intimacy, attachment, love and bonding. When we speak of oxytocin we naturally interchange the terms of love and bonding, and yet, apparently, the highest attainable consciousness we can strive for is “non-attachment”, who decided this? Someone who was tired of how messy and confusing life as a human being can be at times? Someone was hoping to avoid the pain and suffering that comes from loving and caring so deeply?
I get that there needs to be a level of so called ‘non-attachment’ with some things, we can’t be completely, heartfully, soulfully invested in every little thing in life but for me, there are some big things that totally deserve my complete commitment and devotion. This will mean that I am deeply invested in what that looks, sounds and feels like, I will be affected, sometimes quite deeply, when these commitments trigger joy, happiness, pleasure, pain, disappointment, anger and grief. That’s just how it works for me.
So I guess what I am saying is that in my quest for, not caring as much, I have realised that it is caring deeply that makes me who I am. I do require emotional attachment to commit to something or someone and when I do I will be at the effect of it. I am not someone who can detach easily.
So my search continues, along the path that leads to more love, more care and more devotion, without that needing to create more pain and suffering along the way. In the meantime, I will do my best every day, to be my authentic and real self. I will not apologise for wanting to make time with loved ones a priority, I will not apologise for being disappointed if someone else doesn’t feel as deeply about something as I do. I will allow myself to feel hurt and disappointed if I feel let down, or unloved, regardless of whether that was the intention behind the action or not. I am allowed to feel all of these things and more, I should not have to defend my feelings, I should not have to practice ‘detachment” just so that it won’t hurt. I will care as much and I will suffer and struggle, rejoice and celebrate, as the moment dictates to me, always to the best of my ability…..
“Sacred Feminine Practitioner”