Definition: The state of being attached; close adherence or affection; fidelity; passion or affection that binds a person to another; a feeling of affection for a person or institution; social or emotional ties; a supplementary part or accessory.
Attachment is defined as an emotional bond that links us to that to which we are connected. Whenever we interact with our environment, we establish bonds, links, and connections with something or someone. These connections or attachments usually sustain us, can uplift us, and can fulfill needs of various sorts. We can feel attached to people, places, things, ideas, beliefs, or even memories. Attachments may not always be bonds of closeness but also of aversion – such as strong emotions against something or someone, certain ideas, happenings or people.
In early childhood, we form patterns of attachment to our caregivers. These patterns of early childhood attachment often guide our relational experience for years to come by forming a blueprint for future relationships – sometimes called an ‘attachment style’. As we develop, our attachments may change and evolve. Healthy attachments help us grow and deepen our relationship to Self and to the world. They are flexible, supportive, nourishing, and mutually enhancing. Attachments become unhealthy when we rely on them excessively, or when they become constricting and inflexible and become a hindrance to our connection to Self.
When others have an unhealthy attachment to us, personal boundaries may have become blurred. This may be experienced as dependency and felt as a weight, or even drain us on a number of levels. Addictions of all sorts may also fall under this category, and may include unhealthy attachments to drugs, alcohol, food, T.V., people, emotions, etc. They become a way we avoid, mask, or numb our experience.
Non-attachment, or equanimity refers to the process of learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities that can cloud true self. Cultivating equanimity requires letting go of attachments that prevent this connection, as well as healing attachments that misidentify the Self through rigidity and inflexibility. Healthy attachments support and sustain our inner journey, and reduce the degree to which we get sidetracked into pains and pleasures along the way.
If you have pulled this card, you may want to ask yourself what are you attached to or what is attached to you? Are you connected to something that is no longer serving you? What are the contributions of your attachments? Are your attachments hindrances or a enhancements? Is your attachment to what something should look or be like preventing it from being what it needs to be?
© 2011 Leslie Helen Bambic Ciechanowski
Every week I shuffle and draw a card to write about and represent the week ahead.
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