Monday, March 23, 2009

Attachment to a Friend

Being attached to something or someone feels good at times. But I've discovered that attachment is also very dangerous.

I have a friend who has just come to me with some news about an old love she's reconnecting with from afar -- by phone and mail. They will meet later in the year, and he plans to stay with her for several months.

When she told me about it, I feigned happiness for her. But inside, my gut honest reaction was one of fear. I know why. I am afraid of losing her attention and attachment to me.

Worse, I feel terrible for feeling this way. I also looked forward to seeing her on the weekends, and she'd spend time at my house at the holidays. And I have noticed that she has stopped visiting often.

The source of my anxiety is being left alone.

But maybe I'm reading too much into this. Is my fear of being left alone...of being lonely...real?

While I do feel lonely at times, it is not an eternal, or unchanging state. The Buddhist concept of emptiness says that nothing is inherently real on its own. I am not alone -- in truth. I have some good friends and a wonderful family of brothers, sisters and nieces and nephews. So my fear of loneliness is without solid substance.

So, if my conception of being alone is so frightening; then perhaps I can change my attitude about this, I can make new friends, expand my world a bit. I can build positive states of mind and situations to sustain me.

But still...we are human...and we develop attachments. I am attached to the idea of "always" having my friend around to keep me company. This is understandable, but not realistic.

Things change. Life changes. People move away and die.

Acceptance of this will help. And of course, I'll have to meditate on letting go.

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