Attachment: the greatest cause of suffering

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Joe Dispenza

Attachment: the greatest cause of suffering

Last update: 26 November 2015

“Enemies like hatred and attachment have no legs, arms or other limbs, and they have no courage or skill. How, then, did they make me their slave?


To tell the truth, the human species is one of the most fragile in nature. When a baby is born, it needs its mother in all respects in order to survive. A lion cub, a fish or even a lizard come into the world ready to become independent soon.

It has been proven that the need of others does not arise only in relation to basic needs, such as nourishment or warmth. There is also a profound emotional need from the beginning of our life: children who are not stroked often get sick.

The need we all have for others is a factor that is not discussed. As a species, we need each other. Without the presence of another human being at our side, we turn pale and die.

There is one big difference, however, between that instinctive bond that allows us to survive and the neurotic addictions that we sometimes develop in adulthood.

The labyrinths of attachment

As paradoxical as it may seem, autonomy can be achieved only after having experienced complete dependence.

During childhood, we attach to reference figures who support our emotional security

The mechanism is simple: being able to rely on someone in childhood whenever we need protection leads to the development of a feeling of trust towards the world and human beings. This allows us to achieve independence once we are adults.

In childhood, we all need a mother or someone to take her place. Yet that figure is not always there for us.

Sometimes she works and is forced to leave her little one in kindergarten or in a kindergarten from an early age. Other times, she is so busy with her own problems that she doesn't have the time to devote herself totally and wholeheartedly to her child, even when she needs her or maybe has to take care of other siblings, even if we desperately need to have her all to herself. we.

It may also happen that she feels such a strong anxiety about her condition as a mother, that it overturns all the insecurities that torment her on her children, becoming in those cases over-protective, as if the world were a constant threat.

In these and other cases, a child is forced to grow up with a feeling of emotional emptiness. Every time he has to face a problem alone, the anxiety will grow excessively, as well as facing the freedom of a choice.

Secretly he will yearn for a figure to replace the absent mother, either forever or at a given moment.

It is for this reason that we look for in the partner a person who gives us everything, without waiting. We expect him to abandon himself to us unconditionally and feel frustration every time he shows himself indifferent or detached. We live in fear of losing those people that we are convinced they can fill the void we have inside.

From attachment to autonomy

Attachment to other people is important and necessary throughout life. From the time we are born until we die, we need others to be able to preserve our physical and emotional health. It doesn't matter if we are successful investors or housewives. Everyone needs others.

The problem arises when this need turns into anxiety. When we feel that if left alone we will transform again into that helpless child who was paralyzed in the face of the threats of the world.

To escape this anxiety, there are several strategies to be implemented. One of them is the one already mentioned in the previous paragraph: looking for a figure who reassures us by uttering the impossible promise “I will always be there and I will never leave you alone”.

Another possibility is to opt for the opposite factor: avoid at all costs to create addictive bonds with other people, in such a way that you never have to experience a feeling of abandonment again.

Sometimes you can also become wary, suspicious and overly demanding. Expect much more from others than they can give us, constantly blaming their shortcomings and limitations. As if we are little dictators who are frustrated because they cannot control others as they would like.

However, suffering remains the constant element of attachment. We suffer to try to keep with us that benefactor who has "adopted" us, whether it is a partner, a boss, a friend, etc.

We will suffer in the face of the loneliness of not being able to establish intimate bonds with others. We will suffer from the inability to appreciate human beings as they are.

They say that fruit is the only one to ripen. We human beings may be 30 or 50 years old, but we still have the same fears in us as when we were children.

Maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea reflect on what those gaps in childhood are which now lead us to neurotically attach ourselves to others.

Perhaps, sooner or later in our adult life, we will be able to give up forever the impossible desire to have someone who assumes the characteristics of the ideal mother that we never had.

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