Sunday, July 22, 2007

More on Attachment

A comment was left on one of the entries I wrote regarding my divorce. As I started to enter my own reply, I found that a simple comment would not suffice. My thoughts and feelings regarding our attachment to others are very convoluted.

The Comment:

"A friend once said to me ... when you come to have absolutely no feelings for your ex then you are free.

The thing that confuses many people is that they will think of feelings as good, loving feelings. But dislike and hate are also feelings that leave you emotionally attached.
Have no attachment, no feelings as if he were a stranger on the street ... then you will be free."

In first reading the comment, I ingested it in a broader sense, more literal. Those thoughts centered around the many and varying degrees of emotional attachment...feelings...I hold for every person who has ever even been minutely influential in my life.

People I do not even know, have an effect on my life in what at first may seem insignificant. But there are some, who I cannot forget, who on seeing them, or hearing their stories, leave me with a learning experience. Whether it is a new way to view our world, our society, or in some instances, something deep within my soul is touched, a lasting mark is left. Even those strangers I observe during stolen moments of people watching, will at times leave a residue of feeling, of themselves within me. There have been occurrences, in which I can still picture the faces, and behaviors of the passengers in the car sitting beside me at a stoplight a few days earlier, simply because I was completely aware of them at that moment. My thoughts, my imaginings, regarding their lives, what I saw and imagined, become a part of me, based on the beliefs and emotions that were engendered at the time. They effected me, leaving an emotional residue behind. Even though there was no real attachment, there is a generalized receptivity to the thoughts and feelings aroused.

In my growth as person, one of the things I do not believe will ever change, an essential part of my character, is the part of me that incorporates the emotions I experience in my interactions with other beings.

In any relationship with another, in which I have formed an attachment, no matter the amount of detachment or distance that occurs, there will always be some attachment. I cannot imagine my life being lived any other way. I cannot imagine, that I someday may feel nothing towards one of those someones of my life in which I have, or had an emotional attachment to. I am just not made that way. I can look back through out my life, remember the people; the friends, the relatives, the mentors, the teachers, lovers, co-workers, and with each of those people that I remember, no matter the distance of time, or lost contact, there is some emotion involved. Granted, these emotions are multi-layered in their depth, depending upon the person, but there is some sort of attachment.

I am also able to honestly say...there is no human being on this earth, that I hold complete ill feeling toward, I hope there never is.

If I ever feel the wish for bad things to happen to my husband, I would be very disappointed in myself as a person, as a human being. (Not sayin' there won't be days when I will feel anger, resentment, and frustration directed towards him!)

As to ever becoming completely emotionally detached from him, I do not believe that will ever happen. In the thirty years we have known each other, we have experienced much together. We have visited devastating depths involving grief, and loss, we have been the loving support each needed during those times and events of our lives. We knew the other was there to lean on. We have also caused emotional damage to each other, which is why this marriage has ended. But, we have also shared some unbelievable moments of soul inspiring joy together. Many times throughout the years we have been together, no matter the state of our marital relationship, we each knew there was one person on this earth we could count on to be there when we were in the greatest need (from a source other than our marriage)...for him it was me, for me it was him. No matter the significant differences in "who" we each are. There is that bond. Which creates a very strong (and, at least for me, enduring) emotional attachment.

My good wishes, my hopes for him to live a happier future, will not end when my marriage ends. The well of emotion will not dry up, when I am healed from this ending, they will not disappear when I am done grieving. The love, the attachment will reside within me to my death. If I were ever to awake one day to the knowledge that I have no feelings for this man who shared so much of my life, that I do not care what happens to him, then I will wonder "who" I am, that I could possibly not care.

There is healthy attachment, and unhealthy attachment. In regard to my husband, I am still living the unhealthy attachment phase. When I no longer care whether he approves, or disapproves of my actions. When it no longer matters to me whether I trust him or not. When it no longer hurts me to know that I never quite made the mark, then I will feel that I am completely free. Not caring about him at all? That will not happen. It is not who I am.

My hope for the emotional attachment I have for my husband, is that it will become friendlier, that it will become a healthy one. One in which I can celebrate his joys, express sadness for him, when he must deal with a sadness. My hope is, that someday I will come to a point it which I am detached enough from the past, from the pain we gave each other, to face his future with friendly caring. All along, I have held onto the hope, that our final relationship after the storm of divorce has calmed, will be one in which we can celebrate the milestones of our children's lives, one in which we will be able to celebrate and commiserate the good times, or the bad times. A dream perhaps?

That type of growth beyond our current relationship is not something that can occur quickly, nor can it happen without effort on both sides. At this point in the relationship of our divorce, I am not even sure we will ever communicate but rarely through out the rest of our lives.

But, our lives will always be entwined...we are the parents of two children. In addition, I was very much a part of his extended family, I love them, I always will. I may not be invited to attend the celebrations of their lives any longer, but if at all possible, I know I will be there during the bad times, to give my support and love, of course that will not happen until they get past the feelings of having to choose sides. My own extended family still holds much love and affection for my husband, they have not chosen sides, nor will they, unless he does something to cause great harm to me or our children. My family does not love only in the best of times. When a relationship lasts for as long as ours did, many lives are entwined. It is impossible for that to just end, when a marriage ends.

There is and will always be attachment, my hope, is it will be healthy attachment.

* * * * * * *

My feeling is that our attachments, the entrance, and endurance of others in our lives, is important in a defining way. I have more and more people entering my life again, each one of them have something to teach me, some of those teachings are profound. Others...not so much. But they are all important to me.

* * * * * * *

"A human being is a part of the whole called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty".
~Albert Einstein~

on continuous repeat during this writing
~Why~ Annie Lennox


Fiona said...

I agree, that to have the kind of history that covers so many years, can never be wiped out. I also agree that from whatever pain is being experienced by both of you right now, should come continued caring.

You can stop LOVING someone and still love them enough to care about them. You share children, that alone will link you together forever. And how sad that would be if it turns to something negative after this is done.

Big hugs and hoping things work out. You are constantly in my thoughts Sunny.

Sunny Delight said...

I do hope that we can get past the pain, the anger, and all other negative feelings, to find a place in which we can forgive, and be friends...A hope.

Thank you, my dear friend, and you are always in my thoughts as well.