We have been taught from a very young age that we must attach ourselves to everything. We need to get attached to the people around us, to the things we have, and sometimes even to present situations.
However, some might be surprised to learn that one of the essential qualities for having healthy relationships is non-attachment. In fact, it is even the key to living a fulfilling life.
Contrary to what one might think, non-attachment does not look like indifference at all.
It is a very beneficial state of mind in all areas of our life, including our relationships with people, possessions, and even our physical bodies.
Non-attachment and indifference are completely different.
Indifference is the lack of interest and sympathy towards a person or object.
Non-attachment, on the other hand, refers to the state of mind of being objective and not hanging on, and one takes into consideration the conditions of human existence.
Imagine that you are going on a tour with a group of people you do not know. These people come from all over the world and you will never see them again after this trip.
There is one traveler who you find very interesting and attractive. You know you won’t be sharing a lot of time with, but you do intend to enjoy every moment you spend together. You want to live these moments with intensity and passion because you know that they will not last forever and that there is a time when you will have to part ways. You accept the situation and you are still open to the experience.
There is no indifference in this situation, and yet the circumstances of this encounter force you not to get attached to the other person (unless you want to suffer).
Here’s how non-attachment strengthens romantic relationships
Maybe you think that our intimate relationships do not evolve under the same conditions as the example cited above. But after all, we still share a limited time with someone, just like people who take a trip together.
The big difference is that in real life you have no idea when your relationship is going to end.
The circumstances of life, the fragility of the human condition, the instability of emotions – all of these factors make relationships much less predictable than you might think. If you meditate deeply on the impermanence of life, non-attachment will be the inevitable consequence.
Non-attachment in real life is not indifference: on the contrary, it allows you to live all your relationships with love and intensity, knowing that they can end at any time.
Non-attachment is a state of mind that will help you in both joy and sorrow. Life is a mixture of pleasure and pain. We hold on to the pleasure, because we hope it never goes away, and when the pain overwhelms us, we fear it will never go away.
Through non-attachment, you can endure difficult times with a sense of humor, knowing that a better day will come. We can enjoy the beautiful moments in life without being afraid of seeing the end because it will definitely happen.
Not being attached to success and failure, pleasure and pain, brings you back to the one thing invariably present, stable, and sure: your center of pure consciousness and pure love.
How non-attachment drives you towards unconditional love
By practicing non-attachment in your intimate relationships, it leads you to unconditional love. Only an unattached person can love unconditionally, that is, without expecting anything in return.
If attached love is expressed by the words “I love you, because…”, detached love simply says “I love you”, without any conditions. You will realize that pure and unconditional love is best expressed in the words “I love”.
Non-Attachment Brings a Universal Approach to How You Express Love
Unconditional love is independent of the object of love. Although at some point in your life your love may be focused on a particular person, the act of love is not dependent on the person. If it disappears from your life, unconditional love will always be there, overflowing from the heart, ready to focus on another wonderful human being when the time is right.
The source of all love is within you, and you do not depend on anyone to express it.
It is one of the most liberating changes that we can experience. When you understand that love is springing from you and no one else is responsible, you can continue to love others, but there is no more fear and attachment. You realize that no event in life, not even the death of a loved one, can take you away from this state of being.
Practicing non-attachment is essential for developing unconditional love, an unattached attitude towards things and people, and the ability to appreciate the present moment with intensity and passion. Accepting the impermanence of life means reviewing all of our assumptions about existence, but through this process, we can love unconditionally and without fear.