fear and attachment

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums
runstrails
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2208
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 am

fear and attachment

Post by runstrails » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:22 pm

So, this awakening process has caused me to face many of my fears head on. Fear arises from an external situation, I experience it and then do an inquiry about what the fear is ultimately about and then I'm able to release it. I think I've been able to face most of my fears (e.g., fear of emotional pain, fear of death, fear of uncertainty in life situations etc..).

However, one thing that shocked me is how many of my fears are due to attachment to my young daughter. I want to be able to provide for her so she has a good life. This is a real primal fear and one I cannot let go of. I don't feel this deep attachment to myself or any other adult in my life (husband, parent etc..). The other day I did an inquiry, and the answer came back that I prefer her having a good life, to me finding the ultimate truth.

Any advice on this situation? Can parents of young children ever really let go of attachment to their children. I can see everything as illusory, except my child! This is a tough one. Thanks, for any help :)

karmarider
Posts: 2141
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:00 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: fear and attachment

Post by karmarider » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:13 pm

Advice? For what? You're human being and a human mother and you're raising a child.

Sounds like you have an effective way to recognize and release fears--and that's pretty good. That's a very important skill.

My awakening experiences came after my daughters were grown. I don't know how I would have dealt with raising children. There are some situations which seem to bring up ego and fears in total. For example, in personal relationships which are not symmetrical, and raising children, and how we feel about our parents, and future security.

It seems to me that as you evolve, it's not useful to over-think any particular life situation. We have a tendency to keep asking the question "what would an enlightened person do in this situation" and it's really something we need to release.
Last edited by karmarider on Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

James
Posts: 983
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:06 pm

Re: fear and attachment

Post by James » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:57 pm

Hey Runstrails,
I have no parenting experience, but I don't think awakening and being a good parent are mutually exclusive, in fact I think the awakened parent is the best thing one can do for a child in terms of giving them a start in life, and being a wise caregiver; as I think that awakening is primary in all aspects of life. Otherwise one is merely "rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic", in attempt to provide safety and security. I would not say your child is an illusion, but it is our concept about a child or parent that is illusory and leads to attachment or identification, see through the conceptual overlay.

Hope that helps (coming from a non parent). We all have challenges when it comes to realization, yours may just happen to be parenting; I think the worldly challenges bring out the best in us. It would be easier to sit in a cave and claim enlightenment, but the real challenge is to be in the world; that appears to be the path for most of us, no offense to cave dwellers that may a useful experience for others to discover truth. And there is no judgment for those parents that don't choose awakening, that just appears to be how life is manifesting. In either case it is always the same life the one life.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

enigma
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:51 am

Re: fear and attachment

Post by enigma » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:27 pm

I say sacrifice everything for your daughter and parent her from an Awakened state instead of a sleep state. What a precious and rare gift that would be.

hanss
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:14 pm
Location: Gothenburg - Sweden

Re: fear and attachment

Post by hanss » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:44 pm

runstrails wrote: I want to be able to provide for her so she has a good life.
Maybe you can start to dig here. Define "good life" first. Just a suggestion :)
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)

User avatar
eputkonen
Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:53 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
Contact:

Re: fear and attachment

Post by eputkonen » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:03 pm

runstrails wrote:Any advice on this situation? Can parents of young children ever really let go of attachment to their children. I can see everything as illusory, except my child! This is a tough one. Thanks, for any help :)
Yes, parents can let go of attachment to their children.

But let me put it this way...can you really hold on? Will your attachment actually do anything?
If some accident where to occur that killed her (in a bus, at school, in the street, random illness, lightning strike, etc.), will your attachment change it?

The fact of the matter is we can not really be attached...the problem is that we try. We don't have that much control. The trick is giving up control and yet doing what we can.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
https://www.youtube.com/EricPutkonen

enigma
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:51 am

Re: fear and attachment

Post by enigma » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:16 pm

hanss wrote:
runstrails wrote: I want to be able to provide for her so she has a good life.
Maybe you can start to dig here. Define "good life" first. Just a suggestion :)
Sounds like an excellent one. A good life usually means stuff and security, and most folks get serious about transcending all that because they see it doesn't work. The attachment seems to be to the idea of what a good life means.

runstrails
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2208
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 am

Re: fear and attachment

Post by runstrails » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:29 am

Great advice, guys. Thank you. I think that many of us parents on the forum will benefit from these wise and kind words.

And yes, hanss and enigma by good life, I do mean worldly comfort and security for my child (at least while she is a youngster). Totally egoic, I know.

I remember reading de Mello who said (and I paraphrase) "children are not 'yours', they are only in your charge for a while". (similar to James--its the 'concept' of a child or parent that is illusory). I think that I can meditate on that for a while, try to see through that illusion which is so particularly hard for me.

Does anyone know of any books or teachers that talk of awakened parenting? (please not Milton's secret--much as I love ET, I would prefer something more substantial :wink: )

the key master
Posts: 2078
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:23 pm

Re: fear and attachment

Post by the key master » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:41 am

Crappy advice from everyone above, especially you James :P
However, one thing that shocked me is how many of my fears are due to attachment to my young daughter.
Maybe not. Suffering around attachment issues typically stem from the thinking mind striving for control. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting the best for your daughter, and doing everything you can for her so that she has worldly comfort and security. But if we look a little deeper, we see that the suffering comes not from wanting certain things for her, but more than likely from a fear of the emotional pain which could be felt if she doesn't have this or that. That is why we strive to control love, to control life, because of the ego's tendency to fear emotional hurt.

Playing devils advocate, what if you lost your job, and lost the ability to provide for her? How does that thought make you feel? Why would that thought bother you? Potentially hurtful right? There is more than likely an underlying fear of emotional pain the mind is projecting onto the love bond between you and your daughter. Love does not necessitate attachment, even the purest of love bonds. The fear of emotional pain on the other hand, does.

--jason

User avatar
smiileyjen101
Posts: 3763
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Re: fear and attachment

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:01 am

Runstrails, It's really quite simple, especially now that you realise that you do have opportunities to choose fear, or not. If you are being true (honouring) this moment you will have no regrets.
If you be you in its full and beautiful expression of a human 'being'' and with love allow your child to do the same - encourage her to be true to herself and to love herself as much as others, there can be no thing that cannot be experienced in love without fear.

One of the greatest books I read as a mother and encouraged my children to adopt the ideas, even when young, was ''Feel the fear and do it anyway' by Susan Jeffers. It's probably not listed as a parental guide anywhere but it is brilliant!

One of the things Jeffers notes is what it is we teach our children by example and by word. How many parents drop their children off at school and say '"Be careful, stay safe, be good"etc
The book reminded me. I chose to say "'Have fun learning something new today"' and later discussing what it was and mostly it was that someone was having a hard time and needed love and understanding, or a teacher was upset with something, or they made a new friend, or learned they had been wrong about something they previously thought they knew, or they mastered some complex problem and how they realised this.

We would go on ádventures'- others may say we got lost. But, for us it was an opportunity to find a new way to get somewhere and see and experience things we'd never noticed before lol! Sometimes we would even choose it -wonder where this road goes?
If a child hears you speaking unkindly about someone, they will learn it is okay.
If you put qualifiers on why you "'can't do"' (choose not to) a thing, they will learn to do the same.
If a child sees you paralysed with fear over something unknown they will fear the unknown. We would discuss their fears, discuss problems in light of well, who's problem is it really? I would ask them if they thought they could try to solve their problems three different ways and, if they still need help, I would be there for them. (note: I would not do it for them, but I would assist them)
I would discuss with them the ways they had tried and why they thought it may not have worked, having tried it. Usually it would work out that they'd find their own solutions and they learned there are many ways to solve a problem, some work, some not so well. Do you have any idea just how many ways shoelaces can be tied? Or how many ways you can stop a bully from hurting you? They had stacks of solutions!!! Like all of us they just had to let them out and manifest. they also learned to respect the rights of others to own and solve their problems, but would assist if needed.

Can you see the difference in what is really important? it was never about their new shoes or what they had or didn't have. It was sharing their experience of their journey and sharing my experience of my journey.
Did I freak (inside) when I heard that the youngest on a day out with grandparents then about five decided to test the feel the fear theory on her own?
She had snuck away from them and taken her bike to the top of a BMX slide made for professionals, stand shivering with fear at the top and only be noticed when she yelled at the top of her lungs "Feel the fear ...."and rode down it, scaring the crap out of everyone? Absolutely!!!!!
Did I hug and laugh with her as she relayed her version of it, and how proud she was of herself for overcoming her fear AND riding down that huge slide and landing safely? Absolutely!!!
Did I overflow with love every time they showed a kindness to a loved one or a stranger? Absolutely!!!
Did I freak a little when that included coming out of a bank when the same one was about 8 years old and sitting with a drug affected homeless man on a bad trip? Absolutely!!!
Did I overflow with love to hear her retell his story of being left with shrapnel in his body from being a soldier in Vietnam and being ostracised by our society, and her outrage at how others couldn't 'see' him properly? And that John was now her new friend. Absolutely!!

I too have to employ, feel the fear and do it anyway! Let our children be their beautiful selves.
I remember reading de Mello who said (and I paraphrase) "children are not 'yours', they are only in your charge for a while". (similar to James--its the 'concept' of a child or parent that is illusory). I think that I can meditate on that for a while, try to see through that illusion which is so particularly hard for me.
If you respect your child/ren and understand that you cannot judge another soul's journey, this will make all the sense in the world of both the quote and your child.

To do otherwise is to see others merely as an extension of yourself, taken to extremes this becomes narcissistic. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines the rights of all individuals as equal.
I once had the curious experience, discussing the pursuits of my children, with a woman who has a young child that she controls to the inth degree, scheduling and correcting every thing this child does so that the child will be a perfect representation of her as a 'mother'' - the child must at all times be clean, quiet, respectful, scheduled etc etc etc.
She turned to me quite seriously and said: "'I don't get you, you treat your children as if they're 'just people''.
I replied, 'But they are, they are beautiful people.''
See your child as a beautiful person... that's all it really takes RT.

That beautiful youngest one was hit and killed by an unaware driver trying to beat another car into an empty lane, except she was stepping out into the same lane. She was 15, a children's helpline peer support volunteer and on her way home from helping a friend solve a problem.
Do I regret a moment of sharing her journey or her sharing my journey. Not one.
There is only THIS moment to choose love.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

runstrails
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2208
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 am

Re: fear and attachment

Post by runstrails » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:01 am

Jen,
Thank you for a beautiful post and for your honesty. I was moved to tears at the end. I will read it many times. There is so much wisdom in it.

runstrails
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2208
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 am

Re: fear and attachment

Post by runstrails » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:08 am

Keymaster, I was hoping you would chime in. You are correct--there is clearly fear of emotional pain (for my child). I guess I need to work on fully acknowledging and then releasing this fear/attachment. Let me know if you have any tips.

What great posts on this thread. Thanks everyone.

the key master
Posts: 2078
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:23 pm

Re: fear and attachment

Post by the key master » Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:01 am

You are correct--there is clearly fear of emotional pain (for my child).
Love is the recognition of oneself in another, that there actually is no other. Hence, relationships where there is a strong love bond, an undying connection, are great places for the egoic mind to project its own issues onto someone else. I have experience observing this phenomena hehe. Thus, the pain the mind wants to avoid happening to "her in future" may actually stem from pain from the "me's" past which has not been fully released/accepted/ackowledged. Try looking backward. In reality, there is no "me" or "her", only the One which we all timelessly are...

--jason

mus3cho
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:06 pm

Re: fear and attachment

Post by mus3cho » Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:30 am

As I sit here and watch my daughter warm the bench. Knowing she's really wants to play and I hate that the coach won't put her in. I keep telling myself she is on her own journey and I am not privy to where she's headed. Its very painful to watch your child live life on life's terms. But these are the things that may prompt her to go inward someday. I can only show her how I try to do it.

alex
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:28 am

Re: fear and attachment

Post by alex » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:41 am

RT may I take a stab in the dark and ask if you are in one of those doubtful periods on this path? I think anyone who undertakes this journey has times of opening up followed by times of fear and being closed, the swinging pendulum that Adya speaks of.
I know in the midst of my own closing up and fear my mind would dredge up all kinds of fear about why I didnt want to awaken and what it would change. One recurring fear was based around my son. I felt so strongly that I didnt want

to leave him 'behind' . That I couldnt possibly choose awakening over just being his mum and loving him with everything I have.
The only advice I can offer is to tell you that these fears are illusions. Eventually you will be able to see through them too, I'm sure what you're going through is competely natural for any mother on this path just try to trust that it will resolve as it did for me.
You will find that the love you have for your daughter is something completely solid and exists prior to any thoughts, fears and attachments and will continue to exist after any kind of awakening. Your cheeky little mind is just inventing problems for you!
From one mother to another with love xo

Post Reply