I’m going to be 60 years old in a few weeks. Can you believe that from the time I left home at the age of 16 or 44 years ago, I have never prepared/cooked a meal with the same ingredients? I have moved at least 30 times in my 60 years and have never gone to sleep at the same time.
What I am trying to say is that I don’t like repeating or doing the same thing every day. Upon examining this today, I came to the conclusion that moving so often in my childhood didn’t allow me to put roots. Perhaps I couldn’t as we never lived in one home for more than 2 years. Perhaps I was afraid to let roots down in case I had to uproot so “change”became a normality in my life.
Plants let their roots down regardless. They don’t know if they will be pulled or moved, or do they? They are like children, they depend on nature or humans to cultivate them. I depended on my parents, I didn’t know but after a few moves, I guess we adjust or expect to move, it’s difficult to know.
Later on in life, this ability to adjust became an advantage because when you move a lot, you can’t build close friendships, it’s easier to move on because I didn’t have time to attach to anyone or; it may be the other way around, I didn’t want to get attached to anyone because I was afraid deep down that I would get hurt or be sad for leaving.
As I got older and started dating, I wasn’t able to stay in the relationships. The moment he started calling me asking what I was doing tonight, I knew it was time to end it. I don’t remember ever being dumped, I was the one that dumped them before I got attached I guess.
Again, it was either the fear of attachment and pain or not feeling comfortable with that uncertainty. My longest relationship was my first marriage which lasted 5 years, and I am now with a partner for 13 years but it was difficult the first 2 years, I had my suitcases ready and looked for reasons for leaving.
Change is normal for me, not just in living or relationships but all aspects of my life. My partner dreads meal times because he never knows what his chicken soup will taste like and he’s opposite of me. He likes repetition, he feels secure that way because of his life where he’s moved 5 times in his 70 years.
Did I miss out on anything? I’m asking because I don’t know what it’s like to grow up in one neighborhood, going to school with friends for years, seeing each other grow up.
I also want to mention that while I was living in the then Yugoslavia (now Croatia) for 4 years between 1967 and 1971, I experienced my first love. My father was involved in anti-communist activities, if you got caught, you were killed, so we found ourselves running away at night for the Italian border. Upon getting our new Canadian passports and flying out of Milan to Canada, it wasn’t until we were up in the clouds and looking down that I realized I wasn’t going to see my first love maybe never again. I was devastated and cried the entire flight.
Maybe I knew the plan all along, preparing myself for today as things change so fast in our political, cultural and social-economic lives. One day you’re locking your front door to go to work and that afternoon the bank is there repossessing your home. One day you are living your habitual life and you get a call at work telling you a bomb just dropped in your village and your entire family was killed.
Now that I have a better understanding of myself, I long for those attachments to family and friends, at times I am envious, but then I see death in a family and the devastation it causes, the pain and suffering of losing a loved one and stop being envious.
Is attachment a good thing? Perhaps when you have life long friends. We don’t have to lose those bonds anymore because of technology. I get to see my children on Skype anytime I want to, but sooner or later and for whatever reason, the bond breaks or someone dies. It’s very emotional and painful. Did I know this all along and purposely yet unconsciously avoided those attachment? I can’t answer that because of my childhood which could have influenced decisions I made later in life. It could be both.
Problem is that I can’t attach now, I don’t even know what it takes, I have many friends but none I feel a bond with, but then how would I know what a bond feels like when I have never experienced it?
I often questioned myself as a mother. I didn’t act like other mothers. You know, constantly fretting and worrying if the kids will make it safely from school or from a teenage party. I felt relief when leaving the kids with their grandparents for the weekend. I didn’t control them, fuss over them or worry about whether they needed extra warm clothes before heading out the door for school. I allowed them to make decisions at a much earlier age than other parents would allow.
My kids kept telling me over the years after becoming adults that I was/am the greatest mom, unlike other mothers that strictly controlled every aspect of their lives. That I allowed them freedom to choose themselves, that they didn’t feel guilt for not following my dreams I had for them, that they felt loved and respected. I accepted that because even to this day, I’m not sure if I did the right thing because most parents didn’t raise their kids the way I did.
I would like to believe this way of life was the path I chose before incarnating because I was destined for greater things and attachment to people and material things prevents me from expanding and letting go of this reality. What those “greater things”are, have yet to present themselves and not attaching to anything keeps my heart light and free of the emotional pain we feel when “losing” someone or something.
To attach or not to attach? Perhaps it all depends on the choices we made before incarnating here. Many Gurus talk about attachment not being healthy or even normal for that matter, I can sure relate to that by observing my environment and how much pain people feel losing a loved one or material possessions; yet I also envy the joy they feel bonding with someone and feeling happy.
I do feel pain when someone hurts me like not being honest with me, selling me a bad product, borrowing money and not paying it back at the agreed time. I’m very sensitive and it takes me a long time to let go of the betrayal I feel so I do have a heart. I help others more than I should or that they deserve. Not a day passes that I don’t do something nice for someone because that is my purpose here, even a smile is a good deed.
My partner often tells me that I give too much and don’t get anything in return. He’s wrong and doesn’t understand the joy I feel when doing something nice. I give because I feel incredible joy in doing so; so I can’t say that I’m not capable of feeling. I don’t expect anything back, I automatically do good things without thinking about the consequences like giving them my favorite top and wishing I never did that a few days later when I go looking for it in my closet.
We’re at a point now where attachments will hinder us. Often people can’t make changes because of those attachments. For example here in Croatia, it’s unthinkable for people to leave friends and family behind for a new job. They will stay unemployed and broke before even considering moving. For me, it’s unthinkable to NOT move if that will improve your life and bring some money in.
The way the world is at this crucial time, it’s probably more advantageous to not be attached because change can be traumatic and stressful particularly in a natural disaster situation.
I watch people in the U.S; falling apart when a tornado hits their town/city/neighborhoods and they no longer have a home. They’re not so upset about the furniture or roof, but are devastated because their albums or family heirloom items are gone.
I can’t relate to that. As an amateur photographer, my kids have albums upon albums of their childhood recorded, but once they left home, I felt no need to record anything in my personal life, I did that only because I didn’t have any photos of my childhood and I wanted them to have theirs.
Times are changing, things can change abruptly at any given moment. Are you ready to face the challenge? Have you un-cluttered your life, your home and mind of things that you don’t need? By observing, I have come to the conclusion that attachment has more disadvantages and gives only temporary moments of fleeting happiness and the pain of losing lasts far longer than the joy of that fleeting happiness or attachment to things we feel we can’t live without.
I’m not sure that I want to experience a temporary joy of bonding with someone because it simply doesn’t last too long though isn’t there a saying that goes something like this: “It’s better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all?”
The only certainty we face is change itself, life is constant change and by holding on to possessions or being attached to people only prevents us from moving forward.
Take that from an expert who never grows the same variety of vegetables and who has never told another human being with the exception of my kids “I missed you”. Am I missing out? I’m not ready to try, not the way things are in this reality right now.
Change is inevitable. As I write this, millions of cells in my body are dying off and being replaced by new cells. I kind of like checking up on my Zucchini every morning, to see what variety comes out of the ground. I buy a bunch of seeds, mix them all together and sow, so I never know what I’m going to get.
Life is like a box of chocolates and I like the surprise effect, it makes this difficult life on Planet Earth a bit more fun.
I think I will stick with having fun, surprises and not attaching though I must say, my two cats are starting to grow on me and I don’t let them outside for fear of losing them. I guess I must be confused, but who cares, life is what you make it right?