Attachment is the route of all suffering – Gautama Buddha
Hello, my loves!
Again, this topic is very important to me. Throughout my life, I measured my success based on my ability to control. If I could control outcomes of situations, I was victorious. If I had a goal in my mind, I used to measure success to how close I was to achieving it, or what actions I’m forcing myself to take that will take me a step forward. Laying back felt like failure and sitting out felt like rejection.
That was no way to live and I thank God every day that I’m out of this pattern.
It’s always good to have motivation to take inspired action to get to where you want, but sometimes, you need to slow down and ask if you really are acting out of inspired action, or anxiety? Are you putting a certain outcome on a pedestal and only allowing emotions to release and express themselves under specific circumstances? Do you deny happiness because you don’t feel worthy because you somehow don’t think you accomplished enough to deserve happiness? Do you suppress disappointment and dismiss negative feelings because you want to avoid confrontation with others?
It’s good to regulate how we react, but when we regulate how we feel, we begin to deny who we are. We deny our past, we deny our present, we deny a better future, and most importantly, we deny that sweet, innocent child that continues to live inside us that has the same wants and needs as that child did in its physical form, years and years and years ago.
Attachment patterns govern our relationship with other human beings. If you felt abandoned as a child, and internalised that feeling, you will always feel a sense of abandonment in your relationships until you address your issue with being abandoned. You may feel anxious at any inconvenience in your interpersonal relationships, only for the source to be hidden trauma or a suppressed memory. The memory or trauma could have been from a small event, or as a result of being mistreated by (most of the time a well-intentioned) adult, but it’s not the memory or the event that matters. It’s how it made your cute, innocent, baby self feel as a child.
That innocence will never go away, which is one of the best things about life. We were born a blank canvas with the world as our oyster, feeling like we can do anything. Those limiting beliefs we have were all learned behaviours. The fact that we still have childlike innocence buried in us in some way is a blessing, because we can tap into our infinite potential and unlearn all of that stuff that no longer serves us. This goes for attachment patterns, beliefs on money, beliefs on self, beliefs on what core school subjects you’re good at, whether you’re clean or messy; the list is endless.
For attachment patterns, the first thing you need to do is figure out what your attachment pattern is. There are countless books and videos to watch to learn about the different one. You can even find an online quiz to help you decipher if you need help. With awareness, comes power.
Then, you need to find your way of calming yourself when you’re in a state of stress, because your triggers to your attachments show up. When this happens, our mind starts to race and it feels like our thoughts are running around at 10000 mph. When this happens, you need to slow down by asking yourself how you feel. When this happens, you narrow the focus from the many thoughts that you can’t fully identify, to the few feelings that your thoughts are rooted in. These feelings don’t have to be related. You can feel a mixture of things and that is a perfectly normal part of the human experience.
Take a few deep cleansing breath, and ask yourself: “How do I feel?”
You’ll feel drawn to be more actively curious about one of the feelings. Pick it and try to unfold. Questions to ask yourself are: Why am I feeling this way? What experience does this remind me of when I was younger? How does this remind me of my relationship with my mum/dad/guardian? What memory does this feeling invoke? Here, you’ll find some answers that will put your current thoughts and feelings in reaction to something very recent into context.
Once that happens, you open your mind to the possibility that there are many more reasons behind another person’s actions. Thoughts like: “Okay, maybe I’m not being ghosted and ___ just needs some space”, “maybe ___ didn’t like what I said and told me because they want a better relationship with me because they like me, as opposed to wanting to humiliate me”, “maybe I overreacted, but I still felt like ___’s behaviour was unfair. I’ll admit to my overreaction, but stand my ground when defending myself because they were wrong”.
When you do this, you also find boundaries. You realise that maybe that person’s actions may not have been personal to you, but you would prefer that they clarified their intention. That is a boundary and an expectation of open and honest communication.
Meditate on your inner child
Diana is not Diana if she doesn’t talk about meditation 😉. Seriously though, meditation is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I found that “visiting my inner child” through meditation really helps me. I see baby Diana as someone who is still living inside me and sometimes needs to be soothed. Things happen in adult Diana’s life and baby Diana gets triggered and needs to be calmed down.
Scientifically speaking, up until the age of 6, our brains were functioning on theta brain waves, which means we were absorbing the world in an almost trance-like state. This is why our infancy is so crucial to our development, because that’s when thought patterns that stay with us for the rest of our lives are formed. If we can’t understand this, we can’t unlearn the negative ones.
Inner-child work (I’ll write a whole post about it and my experience in practicing it in the future) is one of the most important things we do as adults. We need to find our scars and re-parent them. It’s a normal part of life. It doesn’t mean your parents were bad parents (for those who didn’t grow up around abuse, our parents are human after all and obviously made mistakes), or you are so “messed up” that you need to start again, re-parenting is about taking responsibility.
There are many guided meditations to follow on YouTube, just do a search and go on the best one. The intentions of meditating on your inner child are to recognise that your inner child still exists, to have empathy with your inner child, really internalise how sweet and innocent you were (and still are) as a child and how you deserve the absolute best and to tap into that part of yourself, befriend it and to heal the child that is hurting.
When you tend the needs of that child, you heal yourself. From personal experience, this works! If you’re not used to meditating, find a good guided meditation that you can listen to throughout your practice. Especially if you’re new to meditating!! Read my blog post on meditating for beginners if you need help. For my Muslim readers, I also wrote a post explaining why meditation is not haram, because I always get people asking.
A quick guide to the meditation of healing your inner child would be to:
- Take 21 deep breaths or do whichever breathing exercise you’re familiar with to calm you down
- Picture a beautiful forest or beach or playground and walk barefoot, familiarising yourself with the area
- See a child playing by themselves, sitting alone with their head down, however you feel best
- Walk closer to the child and realise that child is you (it helps to picture yourself as a 4-year-old)
- Look into its eyes and understand what this sweet child is feeling
- Hug the child, hold their hand, etc and say “I love you” – really show this child love until they feel better
- When the child feels better, take the child by the hand, start to play with them until you feel the innocent laughter in your heart
- Keep saying I love you, affirming what the child needs to hear (you’re valid, you’re beautiful, you have amazing hair, your emotions are amazing, your boundaries are precious, you’re allowed to cry, etc) and really make that child as happy as you can
- When you’re ready to leave the meditation, look into the child’s eyes and see its happiness, hug the child tight and say you’ll be back. Take them to a nice place that they’ll love and they feel safe.
- Take your focus back to your breathing, start to wiggle your fingers and toes, your hands and wrists and slowly bring yourself back to this dimension
Do this meditation as much as you want. I find that the more I do it, the better I feel and the more my inner child trusts me because I keep my promise to her. This has REALLY helped me with my own attachment patterns. If you want to feel the meditation more deeply, put your hands on your heart whilst doing it.
I barely scratched the surface on this topic so please take advantage of this introduction and go and do lots of research, or comment below/contact me on my socials with questions and comments that I’ll address!
I love you all so much!! Good luck!