Ghosts of Attachment

Ghosts of Attachment

Detachment and distance are necessary tools in life. While that might seem cruel, it’s part of the human experience, and holding space for those skillsets is required for survival.

Over the last year, I found myself consumed in tiny moments where I would have benefited from practicing detachment. It took me some time to learn that lesson, but it was something I truly learned through my own personal experience.

The last time I wrote a blog post that wasn’t a recipe was in March. That fact alone should tell you how hard it has been for me to find the words and write. I have been in that space of detachment for a while now.

It is necessary for a writer to be a reader and sit in silence seasonally in order to achieve growth and learn. I wanted to come back with a different openness and vulnerability, a different knowledge. I needed a new perspective.

It feels like everything I have known up until this point is in a liquid state, sort of! I found myself in a tornado of chaos over the last few years, and just when I thought life was in a smooth sailing state, everything changed…Again!

I think we all have those moments. Often. You might be experiencing one right now, and if you are I’m sending you a some deep and gentle love and soul hugs! I’m also sending you joy and laughter to help soothe the pain a little.

Relationships stir up so much change in our lives, and that’s one of my favorite things about relationships, actually. There is so much you can learn from others simply in being with one another. I truly have a deep gratitude for every single person that I have met and connected with, because they all taught me something I needed to learn. I am grateful that I have been able to experience so many people.

In the same breath, I can say I have learned so much pain too.

I have worked hard to unlearn the pain I was taught, and actively transmute and transform it into peace daily. It’s a DAILY choice.

I allow myself to sit in my emotions in order to gain full inner knowledge of what is happening internally. I hold SPACE for my heart, because no one else can like I can because no one is inside of my body experiencing me like I am. So how can I not take the responsibility of everything that happens inside of me? That knowledge really helps me to move confidently in the present moment. It allows me to move forward. And I take great joy and gratitude for the responsibility of my emotional world.

It requires a deep level of honesty and surrender. It requires deep personal accountability.

I had to be my friend FIRST, before I could ever be a friend to the people I love. When I was not a real friend to myself, it was reflected in the way I was able to show up for my people. It’s hard to deny it, as much as we may try. Once I see it, there is no unseeing it. If I know better, I do better. That is my goal and my desire always. I have nothing to gain in using my time to be in dissonance with reality.


But there was a time when I had an unhealthy attachment to the past, and especially the pain of the past. It’s like an itch you HAVE TO scratch. The invisible ghosts that haunt us.

Truthfully, you don’t really HAVE TO scratch it, and what you really should do is care for the itch. We hear it all the time: don’t scratch your skin. Scratching that “itch” is you just hurting yourself. You can “tear” the already-vulnerable overlay of protection and create space for infection. Making an already sensitive situation even worse.

The same goes for the past. We can get stuck in the past for a few reasons. One of the most common reasons comes down to this idea of closure. We scratch and scratch, seeking some type of closure, we try to make sense of what happened. Nothing we do is going to change what happened. Yet we scratch continuously. We need answers, or we believe we can influence some deep change in the same space we constantly face opposition and false promises.

Attachments are emotional itches!

Life is in a constant state of change. We are in a constant state of change. The environment is in a constant state of change.

Change is such a bittersweet catalyst. It is such a ruthless experience. It is humbling. It emerges with a powerful shocking symphony, and exits in silence leaving an enormous impact on everyone. We are left simply to reflect and process.

Change demands your surrender. Change demands your attention.

This silent season of my life, I made peace with change. I accepted change. I embraced change. I stopped fighting it. I recognized the necessity in that.

But I still needed to make a decision to let go of the attachment that remained. That was the true challenge. I recognize now that it’s just an individual subconscious process and everyone arrives to that decision on their own time. Everyone arrives to their destination exactly when they are meant to get there.

Letting go of attachment, for me, began in my heart first. It was a process of duality and deep reintegration of emotional maturity. I mentioned previously, the liquid state. That’s what emotions are in their truest nature: fluid and constantly changing.

That fact alone is reason enough to not depend on external validation and emotional fulfillment.

Let’s be brutally REAL for a moment. It is exhausting to have to OUTSOURCE your own validation all the time! All the time we spend people pleasing, seeking emotional validation, trying to get someone else to affirm what we already know, is time we could invest toward being that rock for ourselves. The heights and depths we reach with that level of self-confidence and knowledge are unlimited.

People are busy and living life and dealing with their own shit, too! Someone I can truly TRUST and confide in always being available isn’t always reality, even if they say otherwise.  we all know that life happens sometimes. If I am in an emotional crisis, I have to be able to be that life raft for myself, even if my support system is always readily available. It’s one of the greatest survival skills I learned. If I lose everything, I can NEVER lose myself. I have to be there for myself, ALWAYS. I refuse to ever let go.

That requires a certain level of emotional strength and maturation. It really takes practice and time. But it’s something worth truly learning and etching into your programming. It is the backbone of your life passions and what ignites your heart on fire. Without that emotional maturity, we will always feel a void and codependency.

It is really hard to get to that space, when you don’t even know where to start. Where do you really start?! How do you learn without going on another detour with your heart?

How you choose to handle your own emotions dictates your choices, and your choices ultimately influence your life trajectory.

Your thoughts impact your emotions. Your emotions impact your actions. Your actions impact your character. Your character impacts your life destiny.

Denial only keeps us stuck in a hamster wheel. As painful as it is, the harsh reality is that pain is inevitable. It is interwoven into our journey, whether we like it or not. That’s why pain relief is such a lucrative market and drug use is so high in our society.

Try this perspective for a moment: We get to choose what kind of pain we will accept. We get to choose our entire perspective around our emotional choices.

Marriage is hard. Divorce is hard.

Being in debt is hard. Being financially disciplined is hard.

Communication is hard. Not communicating is hard.

Life will always be hard. But we can choose our hard. Pick wisely.

What I have learned is that both are also necessary. It’s that duality I mentioned earlier. If you have ever been through a divorce, you know it’s a lesson that you never forget. Some people need that experience to really grow. Others grow in the experience of marriage without ever having to go through divorce. We all arrive at our lessons in divine time.

Sometimes we need to experience debt in order to achieve financial discipline. We have all been there at one point or another.

Regardless of the pain, it has to be faced. It also requires a game plan! Every wound we face deserves the spotlight for a moment. Just as an open wound and cut require space and distance after treatment, so do your wounds. Coddling only creates codependency and contamination.

If you cut your hand, and you keep touching it and overthinking, you only make the process of healing longer and harder. Allowing that wound space to heal is where the magic happens. It requires patience and discomfort, which is why detachment is important in the process of healing. At some point, you learn to embrace the discomfort with courage and new knowledge.

Find a healthy balance between being honest and firm with yourself, and also in being gentle and soft with yourself.

Cuddle yourself but remember not to coddle. Be disciplined with grace and gentleness, and not with cruelty.

As we enter the season of Fall, where death is a theme, lovingly and gracefully hold space for the past while practicing a healthy detachment and distance, where necessary. You survived. Give your heart room to grow and be kind to yourself.

Love, D.

 

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