“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” ― Rumi
In our modern approach to the human necessity of relationships, we often try to draw a hard line. We insist that love and attachment are opposites and you have to let go of one in order to experience the other.
Ah, life is not so simple.
Attachment is a term that seems to have nothing but negative connotations. Perhaps we should use the word bonding instead.
The positive side of what we call attachment is bonding. If a child does not bond with its mother, it will struggle with emotional difficulties its entire life. Attempting to compensate for the absence of this essential human need results in all of the psychological distortions and even physical ailments we experience throughout life. It will also mean that future relationships will be filled with attachments in the sense we now commonly use them.
So, the real issue we must look at is not attachment, but a lack of genuine bonding.
There is an enormous gift that comes with being a human being. It is a gift that, as far as we know, no other critter on the planet possesses. It is the capacity for introspection and compassionate discrimination.
Unlike our non-human brothers and sisters, we can recognize conditioning. In this recognition, we can bring to ourselves the quality of love, self-acceptance, and appreciation that was lacking in those formative years. In other words, we can create an inner environment where a miracle takes place. We SELF-BOND.
This bonding is not one thing bonding to another. It is bonding with our Original Innocence.
You see, the process of healthy bonding with parents is actually creating the inner environment where we are comfortable in our own skin. We feel a sense of completeness, of resourcefulness. The loving acceptance of parents creates a loving acceptance of ourselves. This is the natural bonding that, in adulthood, expresses itself in the healthy bonding in relationships and minimizes or even eliminates the potential for unhealthy attachments. That is, we can avoid relationships with strings attached.
If a relationship of any kind is an attempt to compensate for something very essential missing from you, it will inevitably have strings attached to it. It can’t be helped. The need we have for this bonding with ourselves is so critical that it simply must be either compensated for or fulfilled.
When this inner environment of self-acceptance is present, there is no need for the nervous system to create the layers of self-protection that make up our self-defeating conditioning.
Instead, there is more direct access to your true nature. That means you really do know what you need and want. Then, inevitably, you will find experiences and relationships that express your wholeness, instead of finding experiences to try to compensate for its absence. You will be bonding and not attaching. There will be no strings.
The good news is that this Original Innocence is always present. Because it is what you are, it can never be destroyed. It can only be obscured by the nervous system’s primary mandate to keep you alive.
When your inner environment becomes one that allows the Original Innocence to shine through, the word bonding falls away because there is no need to bond with what you already are deep down inside. Bonding dissolves into Oneness and in that Oneness, there are no strings and no attachments. There is only Love.