How To Love Without Being Clingy


I used to be very clingy.

In my relationships, friendships, jobs — I resisted change and I suffered.

Life happens. Every day, every moment, things are shifting. People are instinctively pulled towards their own experiences. When we love a person or a thing, we want to possess it. We want to be a part of its everything. But this isn't love. This is attachment.

Let me show you.

When I was a child, my mother would be happy and playful one moment and inexplicably angry the next. She heard voices. She felt things I didn't understand. She lashed out. Always alert to her episodes, I could sense when her mood was changing. I would resist and try to pull her back to a happy place there with me. Our happy place. But I couldn't keep here there, no matter how I tried. I coudn't let go. I blamed myself.

When I was 18, my boyfriend — my first one, the one who took my virginity — told me that he wanted to see other girls. I said, "No, thanks." He tried to break up with me but I wouldn't let him. Over the next year or so, he dated other women, slept with other women (and me), and he pretended to be sorry.

I love my friends. Almost romantically. I used to be jealous of their other friends. I didn't want to be left out or forgotten. I didn't want them to explore or have experiences without me. I worried. Things were always changing so how do you know what to cling to? When to let go? How do you get comfortable with the possibility of being left behind? I created reasons to feel insecure.


Attachment gave me anxiety.

It made me want to control things that I had no capacity to control leaving me powerless and sad. All the time. Why would God create a world where you fall in love with people, places and moments, only to have them taken away? A world where horrible things happen to people and you're supposed to somehow erase tragedy from your mind and go about life as usual?

“Try to be mindful, and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still." – Ajahn Chah

To be free we have to receive and release. Harsh words from people who don't know what else to say or any other way to be. The arguments about who said what and when and why. The friends we've outgrown. The relationships that have run their course. Guilt, beauty, laughter, irritation — if we feel them and refuse to let go, we suffer.

We aren't meant to attach ourselves to things.

It honors all feelings and experiences without being defined by them. We must be love and make it what we do, how we live, and how we perceive the world.

This is how you live and love without clinging.

GG is an independent author, a life coach, a feeler and an overthinker. She writes for the crazy beautiful complex free creative inspired love drunk woman who relishes her quiet time and believes in miracles. Read more about her at Allthemanylayers.com.

Featured image by Shutterstock

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