I was talking with my son last night about the feral cats I’ve been feeding. There is one with a mostly white face that is absolutely adorable. I told him that it actually came out of hiding and stood watching me talk to it for a while. He laughed and said it would soon be in the house. That I was already forming an attachment to that one. Nope. No more cats in the house, I don’t care how cute, adorable, beautiful and sweet looking it may be. No. He walked away laughing and not so under his breath muttering about our up and coming new cat.
Not long after my husband died and again more recently I was asked why did I not sell this house and move into something smaller. I was proud of myself when I refrained from shouting out, “Have you lost your mind??” I tried to remain rational in the explaining that one, I grew up in this house and two I had a nice big yard for privacy and the woods to hike. My brothers and I explored those woods, created and had grand adventures in those woods. Those woods are the background for my fantasy/ fiction (? maybe) stories. Why would I leave this? So yes, there is a very strong attachment to this place.
It was here that I found emotional strength and healing through many of life’s storms. Hiking alone in the woods feeling the peace of the Lord flowing over me, calming the winds of hurt.
Eight years ago we found Bella through a social media post. She was the last puppy and the runt of a litter. She’s a mixed breed, but oh so smart. She learns quickly and obeys most of the time. She is very protective and very loving. When and since I lost my husband she has remained close. She, as animals can, senses those bad days and will move as close as possible trying to help me feel better.
She is my companion on hikes and my protector. While she is a mix, none of the mix includes wolf, but I have had people think so. If that is what they think and it keeps them waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over there, especially if they have been consuming their beverage of choice that impairs their thinking, so much the better.
For almost (missed it by 5 months) thirty years I worked the same job. In my mind, my ability to work that job, be at that job, bring home the pay from that job, defined me. It kept food on the table and fuel in my car. It gave me something to do and allowed to a point a creative outlet. When my obviously now, unhealthy attachment to that job was abruptly severed I was somewhat lost. A ship on the ocean without anchor if you will. Now, just days from being a year into this unemployed and now retired state, I have an understanding of how wrong that attachment was.
I have maybe ten various coffee mugs in the cabinet. I rarely use any of them. I have one that had belonged to my grandmother on dad’s side. That is the one I use all the time. While it isn’t polite to speak of the dead, especially in less than favorable light, I will say that my grandmother was not always complimentary in her discussions of others. She wasn’t down right mean. She merely sought to make herself appear slightly better. Still, that cup is a connection since she has been gone over thirty years now. She was and is family.
To my left is a desk that was my grandfather’s on mom’s side. My grandfather sat often at that desk and it was always in pristine condition. It may, okay it is, showing its age a bit, but I still guard it zealously. So yes, there is that attachment to things.
There are folks I know, and have known for years, with whom I can have the best conversations. We can start on one topic and move seamlessly through many covering everything imaginable. A familiarity that has formed, an attachment that has formed over extended time. So much so that I miss it, craving it like a drug, when too much time passes without conversation.
Oh, on a side note, yes, those attachments we have, the ones that whether the relationship be friendship or romantic, do create connections in the brain that when they are broken create issues; https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/your-social-brain-wired-for-love-and-connection-1115174
So, anyway, my son has walked in and caught me on the phone with one of these friends and asked who I was talking with, then left me to my privacy. He really doesn’t care about some of the topics anyway. He will return later to find me still on the phone and looked puzzled. An hour later he will ask, what could we possibly have to talk about for so long? If he only knew. The attachment to friends and conversation is real.
In a few weeks, it will be four years since my husband died. For four years I have walked as a single adult. Even though my son still lives here, he is often out and about. Most of the time working, he is that much like his dad. I have family all around me. Yet, I spend a lot of time alone. While I miss my husband, I have grown attached to this single state. I have developed an attachment to the idea of personal growth. Seeking and finding ways to improve me, my physical and my spiritual life. Most of the emotions that I once felt about this being alone are fading. It isn’t painful now, it is comforting.
This walk alone, yet with my Lord, teaching me the things I need to know and understand. I have found and formed an attachment to that love and hope in His mercy and grace.
The attachment that I had to my late husband isn’t gone. We spent over thirty years together. That doesn’t just evaporate and go away. It remains tucked safely away within my heart. Brought out from time to time to remember and smile. Remembering the embraces, the moments together, the love, even in the rocky moments, that held us together for so long.
I would be remiss, if I didn’t say that it is possible to have unhealthy attachments. You can latch onto something that isn’t good for you. Something that creates issues in your life that are dangerous, to you or someone else. We have to understand that there is a difference in emotions, possessions, realities. We have to be able to discern between the healthy and unhealthy attachments.