We all can relate to below expressions. If we were to associate a memory with these, it will most probably be that of losing love or a failed relationship or of a friendship that now does not exist.
“I hate myself”
“I will never be the same”
“This has changed me as a person”
“I am more emotional now”
“I will never be able to love”
“Things will never be the same”
“I miss myself”
And if we question WHY, we realize it is all about attachment. You are attached to something or someone emotionally and that makes things a bit tricky. I am no relationship or counseling expert. But I have come across a piece of advice, which to be frank, made no sense to me before but it surely is of help.
Dictionary says attachment means affection, fondness, closeness, bond, loyalty, devotion.
and if you want these words to make simple direct sense then I would put it as “getting used to someone or something so much that their absence disturbs you” and this “disturbed”,“worthless” or “empty” feeling is being discussed here.
it sounds philosophical, unreal, not practical but that is how experts put it- Love without attachment or love unconditionally and you will never experience these feelings of worthlessness or emptiness. It does not guarantee you that you will never feel sad again. After all being sad is not a problem but letting it get over you is. We will put it as an example:
A mother’s love for her child: It is unconditional; it does not ask for much in return, it is all about giving.And as we grow we tend to move away from our mothers or parents, we know how occupied we get with our studies, hostel, roommates, workplace and so on. And if you go back to your mother someday you will not really see her complaining around of how you hurt her, forget her, and ignore her. That is “unconditional” – loving without any conditions.
Now that the concept has been put up briefly, let us look at some baby steps to accomplish this and practice this idea of love.
1.) Love thyself:
Well, we all have heard it and I bet not all of us practice it. You don’t have to depend on somebody else to make you feel loved, appreciate yourself, appreciate what you have achieved, accept your flaws.
- Do things that make you happy. It can be swimming, dancing or binge movie watching. Anything!
- For once go alone for your favorite movie and enjoy alone. The more independent you are in loving yourself the less hurt or disappointed you will be when you don’t find it coming from others.
2.) Take control:
Don’t let somebody else control your feelings.
- If a person ditches one of your plans don’t get upset. Don’t sit in a corner giving a silent treatment or expecting an apology. Instead, continue with the plan alone. If you and your friend or partner planned a dinner or a movie and due to certain commitments he/she could not make it.
- Let go, accept, feeling dejected is okay but letting it affect your mood is not going to help.
3.) List it:
List down why you love or why you are fond of someone. If you tend to make statements like “XYZ is the only reason I am alive” “XYZ makes me happy” “XYZ makes me feel worthy/loved” then you are going wrong somewhere.What is it that “XYZ” does and you don’t for yourself? Of course, we are not being self-sufficient, and we cannot be. We are human beings and we do have needs and that is how relationships happen but we have once upon a time survived without that “XYZ” and now also we can. This does not mean that you should not be appreciative of love coming your way. You have to accept and reciprocate but don’t lose your self-worth.
4.) Spread the love:
- Love your pet, love your neighbors, love your maid. Be kind to everyone, be loving, and see the magic happen.
- Wave your hand at kids going to school, wish a good day to your taxi driver, shake hands with your colleagues at work. It is not about being extrovert or interactive but about spreading good vibes around. Try and see the difference.
- Do it even if you are a little sick and still going to work, do it even if you are feeling a little bloated since morning. Just don’t let there be a cycle of how mood affects the day.
It is okay if someone forgets your birthday. If you cannot control your feelings, then some serious anger management is required.
- Just accept people as they are, do not change them.
- Grow your self-worth and also respect their self-worth. My father never keeps a record of special days or dates. But he has managed to keep a really well-knit friend circle for him. HOW? He manages to make them feel special or missed without any number or date game.
- Statements like “I don’t believe in valentines”, “ every day is valentines”, “dates don’t matter” are a cliché. Start celebrating random days. Make a random day special for someone. Don’t wait for thanksgiving and Diwali to offer bonus and sweets to your house help or watch guards. Make it happen today and experience how and what these “cliché” statements actually mean.
It is more of how you felt BEFORE this “XYZ” came into your life and more importantly how to not let their absence (AFTER) affect your mental peace. And if nothing of the above makes sense. Then just learn to love from your pet dog!