“It is very important for us to learn that with attachment comes pain, with attachment, comes sadness, suffering, bitterness, and anger, with attachment comes unhappiness. Nothing is yours to keep, not even your mother or your father, your spouse or your children, your friends, your bank accounts or your career. You must learn to love them, value them, to be grateful for their prese”nce in your life, to be grateful for the time you spend with them, but when the time comes, to let them go, to let them all go, with dignity, with love, and with grace.”~ Luminita D. Saviuc
I had a good, trusted circle of friends that I had formed throughout my life. I got different things from each relationship I had with them. Some were excellent listeners and gave brilliant advice, some were fun and adventurous and would provide me with that escapism I needed when life got heavy, and some would call me out on my bull shit when I could have made better choices.
Of all the people I encountered during my 33 years of life, not everybody had been a part of all of my journey; I like to think they came and left at the right time, no matter the circumstances.
“I have come to realize that one of the most challenging things in life is to have to let go of our attachment of any kind – things, people, ideas, places.”~ Luminita D. Saviuc
I’ve always strongly believed that our friendships are not coincidences. I believe that the people who are placed in our lives are here for a reason, to teach us lessons, to help us grow and to elevate to a higher level of consciousness, and for us to do the same to them.
I believe we are all interconnected; some would even say we choose who will be a part of our life before we transcended here on earth into our physical bodies.
The Truth About Attachment
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience”~ Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
We form so many relationships during our lifetime, strangers turn into friends, and friends turn into family. We meet colleagues, customers, and business associates. Some relationships formed are easily forgettable, and others will leave lasting memories that we will cherish forever.
The truth is, we need people. We need people to feel a connection, and we need people to provide love and support, to help us grow as individuals and to feel a sense of purpose. We simply need people to do life with.
The difficulty with all the beautiful, wonderful (and sometimes not so wonderful) people that come into our life is that nothing is ever permanent and our relationships with people end. We will never really know when their time is up, and we should learn to be okay with that because not everyone that comes into our lives is meant to stay.
Everyone in our life has a purpose. Some will teach us valuable lessons, others will come to help us achieve something, some will come into our lives to enrich it, and we may do the same for others.
Of all the people that come into our lives, we are all incredibly vulnerable to the fact that people may hurt us, inflict pain or even betray us, but this rarely stops us from forming relationships, even if we are a little guarded.
As an individual whose attachment style is ‘anxious preoccupied’, I certainly had attachment issues when it came to relationships. I found it difficult when people I had loved or once loved were no longer a part of my life, even if I had made the decision.
“At some point, you have to realise that some people can stay in your heart but not your life”~ Unknown
When I was in my early 20’s, my best friend at the time ‘broke up’ with me. I was devastated, to say the least. This led to hours of ruminating on the past and what I could have done differently to prevent this.
I feared that other friends would do the same and I would be lonely, so I clung to them and became a people pleaser.
I remembered stumbling across Buddha’s quote, “attachment is the root of all suffering” – I struggled to understand this at first but quickly began to see the truth in it.
When we are attached to our relationships, it causes suffering. This is because we develop a dependency for them, and this leads us to rely on them for our overall happiness and/or validation.
Attachment leads us to think that we cannot navigate through life without them, thus making us vulnerable to the fact that we will suffer when our relationships can no longer be maintained. It may lead to sadness, hopelessness and anger.
When we understand our attachments to relationships, we will understand the need to maintain relationships when they no longer serve us. Ever wondered why you choose to remain friends with a friend that treats you badly or stay with a partner that doesn’t respect or value the relationship? That likely has something to do with attachment.
Not everyone that comes into our life is meant to stay. When we realise this, we can truly appreciate the people in our lives and take peace in the fact that if they were to leave tomorrow, we would be okay because we are strong and powerful.
Some people will stay in your life for a short time, and some will stay for a long time. In this evolving world, we can simply outgrow those around us, and they, too, can outgrow us. Let’s embrace the impermanence of the relationships we form and trust that they have been placed in our lives for a reason.
Now when a friendship or romantic relationship comes to an end, I ask myself, “What has this person taught me?” and I take time to reflect on what lessons I have learnt or how that situation can make me a better person.
The next time someone leaves your life, or you leave theirs, trust that they have served their purpose, and it is time for that chapter to close. Trust that everything that is happening is for the greater good and that new connections will be born.