Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Attachment is Suffering

In Buddhist tradition, the premise of "Attachment is Suffering" is well known. Mostly, it has been looked at on the surface, meaning attachment to material things. Yes, attachment is indeed suffering. The greatest attachment I have experienced in my life is however not to things, but to individuals. The form of attachment I want to address is called "dependency". The psychological definition of "dependency" states it to be "overreliance by a person on another person". I have spoken of growing up, I have spoken of how taking responsibility means stepping into adulthood. Now I want to speak of this little (or large) pebble, rock, or even boulder that hinders a person from becoming a self-empowered, free, adult being of the new world.

Reliance can be a nice thing, trust, faith in another. However, the word is also defined as "To be dependent for support, help, or supply". It is this latter definition I would like to focus on. It is embedded in human nature, that we are one on some level. The expression of this oneness however, has taken on this twist of dependence. I would see dependence as a misdirected energy. The sense of oneness that people get when they depend fully on someone else comes rather close to the sense of being one. This phenomenon is seen mostly in the dynamics of couples. These relationships sometimes depend on each other mutually, and a state of co-dependency develops. The sense of never being free develops right along with it and it is actually a very accurate sense, for when one is dependent on another, freedom falls by the wayside. I am almost certain, there are many readers out there who have experienced this sort of dependent state, where one doesn't feel whole without the partner. This, I believe is possibly the deepest state of dependency on another we can enter into. If we depend on another person, to the point of not feeling whole, then we are not free any longer, we are at the mercy of that other person's whereabouts and goodwill. That means, we gave up our own sense of wholeness. That is not love, that is not intimacy, it isn't even a heart felt relationship. It is mere dependency. It is the relying on another's presence and goodwill towards us, in order to feel whole. It is possibly the state furthest away from being an adult and aware of the oneness of all that is.
It is, of course, allowed to be in this state and make this experience.

If we are, however, trying to be spiritual adults, trying to experience the oneness that we comprehend in our logical minds, we need to give up these kind of dependencies on individuals as well as things. How does one go about giving up dependencies? I really cannot truly think of all the possible ways, but I can tell of one way that worked for me. If the amount of self-love and self-awareness becomes large enough that one can define oneself without the crutch of being someone's "better half" or "student" or any other "denomination". If I can stand on two feet firmly on the ground, with absolute knowledge that nobody outside myself can or will define or determine who I am in an essential way. If I can love myself alone at any given time, without any attributed "roles", be it during a moment of glory or a moment of shame, a moment of humbleness or of roaring power. If I am able to see myself defined and loved, not by others, but by myself alone, for better or worse so to speak, then I am truly free. In this freedom, I can then realize that without these attachments, I am freely a part of the whole. This secondary reaction that draws me into the oneness of all that is, is quite automatic, for when I stand alone, I strip myself of any dependencies, then I can only see my authentic self and as such, the fold of the oneness takes me on in a heart beat.

There is a question that remains. How do relationships look if people stop depending on one another? It's a good question and I have seen but few relationships that work that way. The bottom line is that the choice of being together is one of mutual sharing, not of co-depending. This mutual sharing is done freely without giving up a part of oneself to the other. Total integrity and authenticity of each person in the relationship is a given and it is nurtured, maintained. Inasmuch, the groundwork for true intimacy is already given. There is no leader, there is no follower. There is but a dance of equals, expressing their own ways, weaving together, flowing apart, as the energies of a day demand. There is no blame, no shame, no victim no perpetrator. It truly is the most beautiful thing anyone could hope to achieve. The individuality, the oneness and the dance of two all wrapped up into one expression.

I am aware, that in order to let go of dependencies, there is always the fear of loss, the fear of falling, the fear...the fear...Fear never breeds anything less than more fear. Fears are best met head on, shed light on the fear, do it anyways, one heart felt intent is enough to get things moving.

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