Attachment is when you feel you need something - or someone - in order to be well.

You become so focused in the idea of having, getting, or achieving that which is your focus of attention, that you’re no longer capable of holding an emotionally stable state. You become stuck, bound, attached, to the thing you want or seek.

The difference between Need and “Need”

There’s a difference between liking something and needing something.

It is possible that you do require a certain element on your life for you to feel well, or for you to function properly, better, or ideally. For example, let’s say you’re a “Nature person”, or a “seaside person”. In this case, more likely than not you’ll only really feel completely well, at home, if and when you’re able to move to and live at your desired type of location.

Given this situation, you could say you “need” to live in Nature.

However, being a “Nature person” doesn't imply you are to suffer in sorrow and despair if you’re currently living in a urban environment at the moment.

You can make plans to move in the future. You can harbour the hope of moving should opportunities arise. You can, at least, be with the realization itself: I am a Nature person. Regardless of where I'm living now, or what my choices were in the past. This is what I am.

You are acknowledging the circumstances you’re surrounded with at the moment are probably not ideally suited to you. What this means, is that you've found a way to connect with your own true nature and inner self. You came to terms with your intrinsic reality, within - even within a situation that might not be entirely suitable to you.

What this does, is to allow you a degree of peace and balance, even if you don’t have everything you want, and/or the way you want it, right now.

Plus, chances are that because you've found a way to connect with your true inner essence, you will now be open to opportunities in the future, that will allow you to match your outer reality with your inner understanding of yourself.

My point is that you have a unique, distinct nature as a person; that this nature implies interests, preferences, wants and desires; and those interests and desires don’t necessarily imply on their own that you’re being selfish, needy, inappropriate, or out of balance.

The need associated with Attachment, however, is a different thing.

This NEED is when you lose the ability to be in balance if you happen to not be able to have what you want, or when you want it.

“Need” is that feeling of pain and despair when you’re unable to get what you want.

This brand of “Need” clings to the idea of having a specific thing, or person. It gets fixated and stuck in it. It doesn't want to let go. You must have that one thing. You must be with that one person. The solution to your problem must pan out in this exact way. Your mind obsesses over it. You dwell on it constantly. You’re not at peace. Your wellness depends on you having that specific thing. It rests on its shoulders.

This “need” is not exclusive to the situation of not having the thing you crave. It can be, and often is, present when you do attain the object of your desire.

In that case, you fear losing what you have. You cling to your possession, or a partner, in an unbalanced way. You fear, for example, that your partner might not like you, or might grow interest in someone else other than you. This is when Attachment is present in a relationship.


Romantic Relationships

Attachment in relationships equates to the feelings of obsession, despair, “neediness”. These bring about unbalance to the equation, always.

The person who is ‘needing’ might use this excuse: “it’s how much Love I feel for you”.

The person is trying to say whatever she can (she as in the person, of either gender) to prevent her own suffering, and venting the intensity of what she’s feeling. She might truly believe all the emotions she’s feeling are “Love”.

But that isn't true. Attachment is not Love.

Dependency, obsession, despair, neediness, these are not Love.

Attachment comes from the person’s inability to connect with herself and validate herself — and not owning the responsibility of doing that. Hence, it comes from a place of not-Love. Therefore the title is quite literal: Attachment is “not-Love”, or, lack/absence of Love.

Attachment is a burden the person is placing on other people’s shoulders. She’s not willing to bear the responsibility of validating her own existence, and wants/needs/expects/depends on others to do it for her. She believes she’ll be worthy when she obtains the object she craves. She wants the person to like her so she can feel loved.

However, the responsibility of acknowledging your own self is intransferable, intransmissible. No one can do it for you. No one can connect and validate your own inner self for you. It just isn't possible.

The energy of Attachment is intrinsically unbalanced, because its premise is false, while simultaneously dealing with a very profound and spiritual theme: acknowledging your existence.

Without acknowledging yourself, you expect others to do so for you.

The person wants others to carry the responsibility of the validation of her own existence, by providing her with love, validation, respect. She expects others not only to carry their own responsibility, but hers as well. What happens then, is that this energy is felt by others as a burden. An added weight. Because it is not the responsibility of others to acknowledge you.

The most natural reaction to this, is to want to walk away.

This is why neediness often tends to repulse others.

Human beings might not necessarily rationalize it this way. They won’t go “this person is placing the responsibility of her own validation on my shoulders”.

However, all human beings are naturally sensitive to the energy of others. So as they come in contact with the energy of Attachment, even if they quite can’t lay a finger on it, they’ll still feel a subtle sense of being burdened. And consequently they’ll feel urge to pull away, to stand back, to disconnect. To not be in the vicinity of the person. They might say something like “The person is being needy, and I feel drained, or suffocated”.


Relationships with Attachment

While the natural reaction to Attachment is to walk away, others might not necessarily choose to do so. This is when unhealthy connections form.

When a relationship develops when at least one person holds the energy of Attachment, such a relationship might devolve into one of co-dependency, victimization. It can also become the classical “push-pull” of two individuals who seem to be eternally gravitating around each other, but at the same time can’t find a way to make the relationship work in a sustained way.

In some cases, the one being craved by another might appreciate the attention he’s being given, and remain in the vicinity to receive it. However this will leave him/her in a position of superiority towards the needy one; who in turn is perceived as having low personal worth. This is when there’s a craving for a distant, unreachable person placed in a pedestal, who conveniently never walks away to completely cut the cord.

The person being adulated appreciates the energy being afforded to her - even if no true intention for a relationship is considered by her. This might be rationalized by them with something along the lines of “I can’t control what others do”.

Indeed you can’t control what others do, however you do have a word to say regarding the energies you allow yourself to be surrounded with. What you allow in your vicinity is also an active and conscious choice.

The person being craved is taking advantage of the other’s craving. It is a form of control. Sometimes those who are frequently adulated by others in this manner, develop farms of passively controlled followers, without these ever having any significant potential to be with the person.

Sometimes the one accepting the neediness of another while entering a relationship, might do so out of the open-hearted intention to help. The person’s energy reads as if there’s a profound, dire need of Love. And so the one who comes in contact with it, comes closer with the intent of answering the call to give Love.

However this help is often misguided, as the person then becomes a crutch to the other, as opposed to actually guiding them towards becoming whole.

If you’re being targeted by someone’s energy of Attachment, and you let the person even get in “range” of your energy, you’ll immediately start to get leached, drained. That’s because that’s the person’s underlying intention. It’s like wanting to heal the vampire, but then all the vampire just stays permanently hanging from your back with his teeth sunk into your skin.

Should you connect with someone who doesn't acknowledge their own Attachment — particularly if you’re the one being targeted by said Attachment — then you will only be feeding it, propagating it. The person is being granted the energy she’s obsessing about. It’s all she wants. So your presence will actually be fuelling the Attachment instead of healing it, despite any of your intentions otherwise.

You can’t push anyone into healing their own Attachment. You can’t do it, it isn’t your role or responsibility to do it. Furthermore, it’s not your presence that will allow healing to occur. If Attachment is present and fed, there will always be unbalance.

The single only way to rebalance Attachment, is for the person herself to make the choice, on her own, to take over her inner responsibility. It’s the only way.

The main issue with Attachment is that the person in unbalance is often in such an inner state of suffering, that he/she becomes unwilling to face her own inner self. This therefore makes it impossible for the person to even acknowledge she’s out of balance, let alone accept her own responsibility. Those holding this energy are often stuck in it, unwilling to let go.

This is why Attachment is often such a difficult energy to deal with and heal.


Attachment Karma

Attachment karma often implies memories of abandonment and non-Love spanning many lifetimes. The situations of abandonment were an external reflection of the person’s inner lack of acknowledgement for the self. Still, these were unsolved and accumulated, and so now they are the very suffering locking the person in place.

Those who accumulate unsolved stories of imperfect yet intense connections between them, often become involved other across many lives. They are trying to work out, solve, what attracts them so deeply yet prevents them from feeling settled and well together.

When you come in contact with someone with whom you have at lot of karma from past-lives, and memories of intense yet unsolved situations, you get the archetypical and highly romanticized “punch in the stomach”. You get a very intense pull, a very intense emotional reaction.

But this reaction is not necessarily Love. This might be you coming into contact with the karma you have with the person.

Love is peace, tranquillity, harmony. Love is you feeling you can be yourself next to the person. If you feel this next to someone, then Love is present. If however you feel a strong pull towards the person yet a high degree of uncertainty, anxiety, distress, then most likely this is the person who is a non-Soul Mate to you, a karmic connection.

When it comes to Attachment, the most common occurrence is for you to reserve your energy of karma on individuals you can have light or “bad” relationships; while reserving your “good” relationships for when you manage to have that energy healed and in balance.

So the person with whom you have this intense, roller-coaster yet unstable relationship, is most often not your Soul Mate — or perhaps better said, it’s an “unhealthy-relationships-mate”. But when you do heal your own energy of Attachment, when you do take ownership of your own responsibility of validating yourself, then you allow your (actual) Soul Mate to appear.

Sometimes karmic connections between incarnating Souls become so embroiled and ingrained, that individuals may incarnate as parents of each other. Spiritually speaking this happens to have individuals in a situation where they are “forced” to work out the unbalance between then. Still, now you are in a situation where you have have profound, deep Attachment karma within your close biological family.

Attachment is Attachment, regardless of where and how it manifests. In this case the typical situation is a child will just want to stay away from a parent, who in turn on the surface just seem to “love his child very much”. It is the child who’s having the healthy response, whereas the parent is hiding his own inner unhealed Attachment under the blanket of parental Love.


The Healing Process

In the process of healing his/her Attachment karma, it’s often the case that the person must endure precisely those situations of scarcity of Love she fears, in order to come to face with them. Karma can only be healed by being felt.

When a person’s karmic cycle is drawing to a close, reaching its final stretch, it will almost seem like nothing ever works, at all. No relationships form, and those who do almost form are always broken, unbalanced, unhealthy to their core. All the person ever seems to draw to her, are experiences of frustration, disfunctionality, abandonment, not-Love.

It is part of the healing process. The person is gathering everyone she has karmic connections with in order to process and clear them. The person is also being put face to face with her very own feeling of abandonment, of not being desired or accepted by others — a suffering held within.

This is what will, eventually, ultimately, have her make the decision to stop delegating the responsibility of the definition of her own self-worth to others, and to the external world, and take ownership of it. It is for this reason that sometimes, the best possible reaction from another, the response that is the most appropriate and contains the highest degree of Love, might just be to walk away.


Owning the Responsibility

You need to love yourself first. Or, at least, own the responsibility to try to do so — even, especially, if you don’t accept or like everything about yourself.

The intention itself, if wholehearted and sincere, of owning the responsibility of accepting your own existence, disarms neediness at its core. This is because in an energy sense, it’s as if “pulls” the responsibility away from others, and back unto yourself.

When you make that decision, will that make you the most intelligent person in the world? The most attractive? The most confident? The most desirable? Will it fix, remove, take away, those things about yourself which you perceive as defects and flaws, and seem to justify the lack of Love you feel from others?

Probably not.

But what this decision will bring you, is a very subtle yet very crucial thing:

Balance.

Now you are refraining from burdening others, from projecting the energy of need towards others. You've made the choice. And because of that choice alone, now your energy is (more) open, (more) balanced, and (more) relaxed.

Furthermore, you’re now open to situations that are meant for you to make progress in healing this energy. This will allow others, the ones who are appropriate and can build non-toxic, sustainable, healthy relationships, with you.


This text was originally published at heartki.com.