How do I nurture a friendship whilst being over attached

Talk about relationships in the context of Spiritual Enlightenment
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Tone68
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How do I nurture a friendship whilst being over attached

Post by Tone68 » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:59 pm

Hi guys, I made a friend online who is helping me through depression and has introduced me to Eckhart. Although having never met or spoken, we have developed a close friendship online, and feel we are helping each other on the journey to enlightenment. The difficulty is that I have grown a little too dependent upon her and over attached. We both have partners and any romantic connection is impossible. What I am struggling with is actually how to use the power of now to handle good feelings that I don't want to have, specific a deep affection I have for her. I understand we must recognise, accept and embrace pain rather than resist, but how do I embrace a feeling I enjoy but don't want without nurturing it?

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Webwanderer
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Re: How do I nurture a friendship whilst being over attached

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:20 am

Welcome to the forum.

I suggest you focus more on appreciation rather than affection. Appreciation is much broader in nature than is affection. Appreciate that life brought you a helpful contact. In other words don't make it so personal as is affection. Appreciation is a great feeling to live in. There is no risk, and there is no expectation. It's just a sense of joy that life is working for you.

In the fields of psychology, one of the great risks is that a client becomes emotionally attached to a counselor. If the counselor/psychologist is not steadfast in his or her professional ethics, bad things tend to happen. You see it in teacher student relationships quite frequently these days. And even though you may be on a more equal footing in this case, the risk of a potentially harmful relationship remains a concern.

If you can focus on appreciation for the growth you have had, and enjoy the experience of this higher emotional state, it will be less personal than the affection that concerns you, and it will also be much easier to share with others you love. Appreciation also does not carry the guilt potential of an affection towards someone not your partner.

WW

Tone68
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Re: How do I nurture a friendship whilst being over attached

Post by Tone68 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:07 pm

Thank you WW, I understand. On an intellectual level I can distinguish between appreciation and affection, but I'm finding it very hard to to untangle the two on a purely emotional level. When I try to identify associated thoughts it all becomes a bit of a muddle, and I then feel like I've been dwelling upon the issue rather than being in the moment, and am not sure which thoughts and feelings are ego or not.

When I've meditated, I have identified an overriding fear that I will ultimately have no choice to distance myself and let the friendship go completely, but then resistance arises and I'm back at square one, so to speak. I'm pretty sure my left brain interpreter is equating the relationship to old romantic relationships from the distant past that ended, or were also never able to be realised, so the only strategy it knows is complete cut off from the source of pain.

I'm a classic over-thinker so this is a major paradigm shift.

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Re: How do I nurture a friendship whilst being over attached

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:11 pm

One thing to keep in mind that I think helpful is that these sticky issues are the stuff of consciousness evolution and growth. It's what we came here to do... grow.

As to the distinction between appreciation and affection, I see that appreciation has an inherent sense of freedom and expansion in it. Something that appreciates grows in value. Affection on the other hand has its root word in affect. It tends to be a kind of attachment and thereby more of a change agent and possibly a limiting factor. That is not to say that it is right or wrong, good or bad. It's just to recognize its fundamental nature.

There is also a distinction between a feeling and an emotion. A feeling tends to be more intuitive or a quality of insight. We get these during meditations or moments of mental quiet. Emotions are more often born of our attachment to thoughts and beliefs. These tend to come in moments of internal dialog or as a result of a trigger to an established belief.

Again, there is nothing right or wrong in this, only a process to understand as we work our way through the issues of our lives. I suggest you spend some quality time getting a clear sense of appreciation. A beautiful sunset or a refreshing breeze is a good start. Then on to larger areas of life in general like opportunities for growth. Once clear, I think you will find its application helpful in all challenging times.

WW

Tone68
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Re: How do I nurture a friendship whilst being over attached

Post by Tone68 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:25 pm

Thank you again, WW. That's helpful.

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