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Dexoing from Romantic Attachments by Life Coach Dr. Jeanine
Many years ago I remember sitting outside with my friend on Huntington Harbor and having a big cry. I had just broken-up with a boyfriend and I felt devastated. As Liz pushed my long hair from the tears it was stuck to on my face she said, “Jeanine, you are one romantic fool!” Suddenly, we started laughing! It was true; I was one big romantic fool!
Romance can be a big seduction in our culture, and I, like many others, have not been immune. Buddhist nun Pema Chodron has distilled the three poisons of our perceptions as: “passion, aggression and ignorance”. For the purposes of this blog, we will focus on the poison of passion.
I can “hear” many of my readers thinking, “What is so wrong with romantic passion? It is what makes the world go around.” In fact, that may have also been my perceptive error. What I have come to find is that love does make the world go around, divine or healthy romantic love being very much a part of that equation. After all, love is the highest law. However, when we are derailed, attached, suffering, jealous, competitive, and insecure or some other untoward emotion as a result of our romantic passions, we may have to “shake free” and move toward true or Divine love again.
Untoward romantic attachment (and we know it is untoward when it begins to limit our good) may lead us to either repress our feeling or act them out. For example, we may pretend we don’t really care that much or become angry at the “object” of our affection. Possibly, we act on our feelings with heavy expectation and lust.
Attachment to passion is some of what Christian thinking is talking about in relation to the concept of idolatry. The romance/person becomes our idol. Rather than really relating to the person, our desire becomes the most important thing in our life. We want that next fix. After awhile we might not even get high any longer or the good feelings become short lasting. We have become attached, addicted and distorted in our thinking.
We often can’t enjoy what is here and now because we want to indulge our passions. Pema Chodron writes about the distracting quality of passion. In Start Where You Are she humorously writes, “And then there’s good old Mortimer, that person who is sitting next to you in the mediation hall, or perhaps someone who works in your office. Some people are lusting when they see Mortimer. He looks wonderful to them. A lot of their discursive thought is taken up with what they want to do with Mortimer.”
Most of us have been distracted by a Mortimer or two. To move towards realignment we may try and let our Mortimer free. We may start with the intention to release Mortimer from our expectations. Even a prayer such as, “Dear God, I am so attached to the idea of form that I want to share with Mortimer. Please release me from the shackles of my desires and let me love Mortimer independent of attachment and need.” Even just the intention to liberate yourself can make such a shift that you can begin to use your passions in a deliberate, positive and healthy way.
The old adage about setting the butterfly free is a wonderful one. When we let our butterfly free, we also become free.
Rather than acting out or repressing our passions we may choose to go the gentle middle road with them. We can sit with them and just be with them. This can feel really uncomfortable, but also can give us insight and empowerment that we never get when we try to avoid the message of our passion.