Breakthrough Moments: Loving Without Attachment
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Love in the Third Degree.
This has been the week for interesting lunches. I’d said, after all, that I wanted to get out of the office for lunch more often and spend it in more interesting ways and with good conversation. Attracting it to me, yes. So once this week with my daughter, twice on business, once with a colleague from years ago, and once with a new friend. All of those were somewhat unexpected.
The oddest of the lunch dates came from a former colleague. She’s suddenly in a position of power and working closely with me, so I did my usual and distanced myself from her in the friend department. I’ve always seen people in my job suck up to people in her job, so I as always take the other extreme. The surprise was when she dropped by my desk and invited me to an impromptu lunch. My first thought was that I was in trouble!
We talked business, we talked personal stuff, we brainstormed both business and personal. For years, I’ve seen colleagues get promoted and drop old friends who were below a certain rank or grade level in the organization and lunch only with people at their level or higher. Sure, call it networking, but I found it distasteful. But for me, this lunch was a breakthrough moment when I didn’t turn down a relationship that the Universe was offering me because of old ways of looking at things.
Surprisingly, an even more “breakthrough” moment happened at the last lunch of the week. This is a new person in my life and likely will be a member of the next spiritual circle I start, so we had a get-to-know-you lunch to make sure neither of us was an axe murderer. She said something casually during lunch that made so many things click for me, kind of a wham between the eyes for me, though she didn’t know it.
For years, I’ve had spiritual leaders tell me to “love without attachment” and define unconditional love as “loving without attachment.” They (many, many more than one) have referred to some of my post-marriage confusion as being because of past “attachments” from my marriage. I never really understood that and rebelled against being told, my interpretation, that I shouldn’t be connecting with anyone emotionally or energetically (whether I can help it or not).
The hardest thing was the idea of loving “without attachment.” I mean, hey, I’m an empath. I attach. I connect. To me, “attachment” equaled “connection.”
But my lunch partner told me a wonderful story about healing from an emotionally distressing situation. She’d decided she wanted to heal the old wound. She reached a point of complete healing in a matter of months whereas most people in that situation spend their lives picking at festering old wounds.
How? She didn’t put any attachments on the healing.
I must have jerked my head up at that point. Just the use of the word “attachment” hit me so strongly.
She went on to explain that she went into the healing process without putting any attachments on what it had to look like. She didn’t have to confront anyone, didn’t have to do certain things that most people do in this situation, didn’t have to have a certificate of healing, etc. Most people in this situation have a virtual checklist that they think has to be completed before they can be regarded as healed. She was healing without attachment.
Suddenly everything clicked. Not healing without being connected to her environment. Not loving without being connected or feeling a connection to people I love. Not forcing the process to fit a certain methodology but rather letting it just be and without looking like anything we’ve structured or defined in the past that limits us.
For me, disconnecting the term “attachments” is a tremendous breakthrough.