From Friendship to Relationship
Attachment, love and freedom
How would life be without friends? We learn the value of friendship during childhood, our teenage years and up into our adult lives.
As a collective, we form a conception about what it means to have friends during our earliest years, and this conception stays with us for most of our lives.
It is through this conception, which is lodged in our unconscious mechanisms, that we filter the information we receive about friendship.
While this conception is fine for most of us, if we want to learn the true meaning of love, we have to relinquish it some day.
We call friends those people we hang out with, those people we share our secrets with, those people we have so many beautiful memories with.
We also call friends, those people who get new friends, those people who suddenly give more attention to their romantic partners, those people who change and journey in a direction different than the one we shared together.
At this moment of clash, when we realize that each day sweeps our friends away — it is easy to turn bitter, to become resentful or simply, poorly express our feelings to them in the form of passive-aggressive mannerisms.
If those friends are wise, they may understand us and tweak a few things to keep things running. But, what about us? What if they don’t show much interest in how we feel?
It is rare for people to care for others today, each one of us is deeply enmeshed in our daily lives with their unrealistic demands. We cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves.
What if, instead of going down into spirals of negativity, what if we questioned this loop in which we find ourselves locked? What if we’re behaving according to our past, to what we’ve always known? Perhaps, there is another way.
Our understanding of love is limited. We have come to associate love with attachment. Attachment can never be love because under each attachment there is fear, and both cannot coexist.
We attach ourselves to people because we need security; we fear loneliness.
If we are honest enough with ourselves, we will observe that our reaction to our friends’ behaviors, especially in relationship to those who leave us or drastically change, shows we have unconscious misconceptions about what it means to love.
The anger that pops up from such an experience covers the pain of loneliness. We thought we loved people, and we certainly do, but this love is mixed with other emotions that create conflicts in our relationships.
So, what do we do? Loving doesn’t mean expecting people to behave only in a certain way for the rest of their lives. Loving people doesn’t obligate them to give us something in return. Loving a child doesn’t mean micromanaging him/her in the name of his/her “future.”
Like it happens with a muscle, growth requires some tearing in the fibers of our being. In order to truly love, some maturity is necessary. This maturity naturally flourishes once we have processed our pain, and our fear of loneliness.
Mature love is unconditional. Such love is giving, and more importantly, indiscriminate. Love that flows freely is charged with all the potency it needs to support those in need, warm people’s hearts, and heal.
When people are with us, we love them and appreciate each instant we spend together. When they do their things, we respect it, and let them flower on their own.
Love isn’t demanding. Conditional love has, well, tons of conditions, which is exhausting. Love simply permits, allows, and moves freely.
It all comes back to ourselves. We have enough power to create change in the world, but Life gave us the ultimate power over ourselves, because in changing ourselves through the healing of our many misunderstandings, what we have always been simply flows out.