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Attachments: Your Emotional Demons
By Art Ramsay, PhD

 In many of my articles I have mentioned the idea of “attachments”. In my eBook, Inner Peace Revealed, I wrote a complete chapter on this subject; so you can see that I consider it an import topic. Matter of fact, it may be the most important part of freeing yourself from beliefs and all that comes with them.

 What are attachments, or singly, what is an attachment? Merriam Webster says: strong feelings of affection or loyalty for someone or something. While this definition gives a snapshot of attachment, its affect on someone is complex. There is also a long discussion about something called “attachment theory” on the Internet, if you care to explore it.

 This article is about how your attachment to someone or something affects you and the people around you. Let’s look at an attachment to another person first. Being attached to someone differs greatly from loving someone. I have defined “romantic love” as an attachment in previous articles, describing how it differs from “real” love.

 The phase “I couldn’t live without you” may be metaphoric or just someone describing their deep affection, but if it were true, and often it is, this would be an attachment. Anyone would be saddened when someone close to them dies, but killing oneself due to a loved one leaving is an attachment in its worst guise.

 Another way an attachment shows up in a relationship is through jealousy. When a person is jealous of their partner/friend it is from fear of losing that person to another. All of the above includes animal companions, because they are looked at as family members.

 Then there is the attachment to things. While this usually is not as strong as the above, it still affects people in sometimes devastating ways. People sometimes kill when someone steals something of value to them. While this may be infrequent, it happens. Putting value on a thing, so much so that you can’t part with it no matter what the expense, is setting you up for an attachment.

 People inherit things that have “sentimental” value from someone they admire or love either before or after the person dies. Here you might be honoring the person by placing value on the gift, but you are setting yourself up for an attachment. Just be aware of this strong possibility and what you might have to deal with emotionally later.

 An attachment that I have dealt with over the years is being attached to outcomes. That is, wanting something to turn out a certain way or expecting it to be something that it isn’t. For example, always trying to be “on time” for an event or appointment. Having expectations sets you up for disappointment and anger. Anytime you have expectations no matter what they are, you are attached to them. This is an attachment easily missed.

So far, we have seen how attachments to people, animal companions, things, and outcomes affect our emotions. How about attachment to our body? Yes, it is easy to become attached to the way our body looks and feels; mostly how it looks. All you need to do is view TV, magazine, or newspaper ads of how to have prettier hair, teeth, skin, arms, legs, etc.

 The ads love to raise your awareness to how your body looks to other people and therefore to you. Most of them are aimed at women, but many are universal. This body awareness trickles down to not feeling good enough compared to the models shown in the ads, for example and you become attached to this outcome.

 How your body feels is also a great subject, especially for the pharmaceutical ads. Anything that doesn’t seem “perfect” needs to be fixed and drug companies have the ingredients to remedy that. But again, this calls your attention to your body and makes you want to always feel perfect or great all the time.

 I have been a “health nut” most of my life, so I know how this attachment works. You can become obsessed with how your body feels, trying to tweak everything that doesn’t feel right. This then, becomes an attachment over time. As I have mentioned many times in articles, we are not our body, so putting too much attention on it becomes an attachment.

 Lastly, we become attached to what we hear and see around us, especially in what people tell us, like in the news. It goes into our subconscious mind and waits for the moment when we come upon someone or something that triggers what we heard or saw; or it may affect us in the moment.

 From the foregoing discussion you can see that attachments affect every area of our life, causing great emotional stress. By reviewing this article and focusing on the area that affects you the most right now, you can begin to release the attachment to it.

 The main point here is awareness; you cannot correct anything you are not aware of. Working on attachments is a step by step process of awareness, seeking how it affects you, and then doing whatever works for you to release it.

 You can see from the above why I used the term “emotional demons” in the title of this article. Even the above doesn’t really get into the depth of how attachments bind us emotionally. I may not have even covered all of the possible ways to become attached.

 By becoming aware of attachments, you might find ones of your own that need work. Reread the article, work on one area at a time and become aware of how your life is being affected. This will begin to bring you great joy over time and lift the image you have of yourself.

 

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