Are you rising in love or falling into unhealthy attachment? the difference and why it truly matters
“Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness. A mature person does not fall in love, he or she rises in love. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. Now they cannot manage and they cannot stand. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have the integrity to stand alone. A mature person has the integrity to stand alone. And when a mature person gives love, he or she gives without any strings attached to it. When two mature persons are in love, one of the great paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone. They are together so much that they are almost one. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. Only freedom and love.”
When we attach to something we place it on a pedestal, we actually create separation and resistance, we block the flow state, we fail to see clearly, we cease to notice flaws or red flags in the situation, instead we idealise, we project what we wish to be true rather than being able to perceive what is.
It then becomes impossible to bear when our illusions about someone are shattered. We may look to blame but it is no one else's fault but our own that we have suffered a harsh and painful wake up call.
Attachment becomes suffocation, for both yourself and the other. The fear that accompanies attachment quickly evolves in to a self fulfilling prophesy, what we fear to lose becomes much more easily lost.
Attachment happens when we have failed to face and integrate our shadow aspects, when we have failed to discover our own "wholeness" so that we must seek it in another.
Sometimes attachment causes us to miss our partners attempts to connect in a loving way, as we are viewing love and relationships through a pessimistic lens, one where we feel our needs are chronically unmet or love never works out for us. We then search for clues that this connection too will cause suffering long term.
•We place the other on a pedestal of high importance even above ourselves, we may become a martyr believing that self inflicted suffering is proof of our love.
•There is a high level of anxiety about the connection, we are less likely to be able to enjoy the moment as we are operating from a fear based position.
•We become threatened by changes in the persons life, their growth or when they experience an expansion of consciousness becomes a threat to the relationship rather than natural healthy growth to be celebrated and welcomed.
•We may find ourselves subtly controlling or manipulating the person/events to remain within our comfort zone, we may not always consciously realise we do this, but there is always strong rationalisation for our actions accompanied by feelings of fear and discomfort.
•We plot or plan ways to become closer to them, we are unable to allow things to flow, to show patience and to trust that the universe has our best interests at heart. We fail to see that we are worthy as we are.
•We live in fear of losing the person. We seek reassurance or become possessive, we see outsiders as a threat to the connection
•We attach much of our identity to the other person or the relationship, instead of being the icing on our cake, the relationship is the full dessert and we feel lost or incomplete without the other
•We gradually alter our behaviours and interests to align with that person, even hobbies or talents we enjoyed previously now become a bargaining chip to impress the other.
•Toxic behaviours such as becoming identified with blame towards others or victim-hood, we may punish our partner for living their lives freely, or resort to emotionally guilt trips to keep them in check. Attachment rapidly becomes selfish, it is about our own needs being fulfilled even at the expense of the other for the illusion of security, paradoxically this erodes true love gradually.
•Obsession and addiction, we fixate on our partner, their thoughts and feelings towards us, we may obsess about texts, analyse the things they say, we find it difficult to focus on other things as our minds are always on the relationship, communication feels addictive, lack of communication results in anger and sorrow, fear drives us to neediness
•We care about what the other person says, does, or how they act. You feel they should be/act a certain way, or "do" things as we see appropriate. Such as spending a specific amount of time talking or respond to us in a specific way.
•We are drawn to their looks, status, job or popularity and feel better about ourselves via association.
•Our energy is anxious and we fall in to limited belief systems "once I marry this person I will be whole and complete/secure"
•Lack mindset "I never connect this well with anyone so I must hold on at all costs". We lose authenticity as our actions are geared towards shaping the opinion or feelings or others, we never feel quite wanted or loved we need endless proof from the other that we are needed and cared for, even if it means they must sacrifice their own natural expression.
•Easily offended or slighted. Thrown off guard when the other doesn't fit with your idealistic view of them
•Toxic and destructive behaviours, power struggles, explosive fights. We become quick to anger and even hatred towards the other, when things don't go to plan.
• Tendency to accept painful situations, other person is unavailable/married or uninterested and yet we cannot let go.
Unconditional love is our natural state
However unconditional love is not one sided, it doesn't require one partner to suffer deeply while the other remains comfortable.
•We feel equal, and good enough for that person or situation
•We are generally care free in our energy, we are secure but also know that we would survive without the relationship if necessary.
•Events flow naturally, even changes bring us closer as they are an opportunity for support and mutual celebration.
•Both giving and receiving feel good, we do not over extend ourselves or demand more than our love is comfortable giving, yet we feel comfortable receiving what they do give.
•Our light and relaxed energy is like a magnet so getting closer is effortless
•We are comfortable with the other persons highest level of natural personal expression
•We don't take offence easily and enjoy the different opinions of our partner, even mild criticism or insensitivity rolls off our backs as we radiate our own genuine self confidence.
•Focused on that which we are passionate about rather than trying to control the other-No obsession, you may think about your loved one often but there is no fixation.
•Already whole and complete inside
•Issues that do arise are faced completely to be dealt with calmly- no attempts to brush them under the carpet. Yet we are able to communicate effectively.
•Attachment is fleeting, transient, yet love is eternal, even if the relationship ends eventually, love remains, it simply transforms
• We are drawn to their heart, the goodness in them and what makes them unique as a person.
•We feel authentically happy about the others achievements, successes and personal advancements, we know they are no threat to us but rather enhance us both as a couple.
•We feel secure already, marriage for example is simply another expression of our love for each other.
•While attachment is selfish, love is complete freedom.
•Constructive discussions that explore and honour both persons point of view and feelings are welcomed. We don't stress about differences of opinion, or how they act, we are comfortable allowing the other person to express themselves without inhibition.
•Pure acceptance and understanding even when the other shows human flaws or disappoints you unintentionally.
•True love is completely empowering, you feel like the greatest version of yourself.
• It is easy to trust your partner, we are able to both give to each other freely and don't put the other in situations that cause long term anguish.
•We understand that there is no need to control others because we trust that even difficulties are part of learning, and because it is fruitless.
I realise that in this day and age, many are not ready for these truths. We have been sold a lie through pop culture that relationships are meant to be full of drama, anxiety and even toxic behaviours. Yet look around you at how many relationships now are unified, solid and harmonious, you will notice very few.
Sadly even when we strive for a deeper and more connected experience from love, there are many guides and coaches that simply sell manipulation in attractive packaging with a hefty price tag, more anxiety and attachment inducing methods that only take us around in circles.
To have peace in love, we must be able to find peace within, it is a journey that takes time, conscious intent and commitment to growth and self improvement. If you have found yourself repeatedly on a road to unhealthy attachment, it can be difficult if not impossible to just immediately "change lanes" it is a process. This is where Coaching can be a tremendous help to inspire and keep you on track. My coaching service is reasonably priced, confidential and convenient. Please take a look at some of