I’ve witnessed a lot of people talking about the importance of love without attachment – especially in neo tantra and polyamory scenes – and this is creating what I believe is a lot of spiritual bypassing, shame and misunderstanding.
Let’s get things in perspective: our ability to attach is intimately linked to our survival instinct and one of the strongest impulses we have. Without a tendency towards a strong attachment between mother and child, the child is much more likely to die (by e.g the child wondering off into the treacherous world or the mother neglecting the child).
The way I see it, love without attachment is a high spiritual ideal that few of us will ever attain (the Greeks called this kind of selfless love ‘Agape’ as opposed to the passionate and tempestuous ‘Eros’ love). While I believe it is however worth questioning our behaviour around what is love and what is attachment or dependency, the way we work with attachment when it constricts love is NOT by denying or avoiding it.
Avoiding attachment or losing ourselves in attachment are ways of dismissing or abandoning our inner child. Meeting ourselves in our desperate longing for closeness and feeling cared for, and in our fears of betrayal and abandonment… and holding ourselves in this vulnerability, finding the courage to show ourselves in it to our significant others… wow! I think this is one of the scariest and therefore bravest place we can go as humans, especially for those of us with attachment trauma. This is profound inner work, meeting what truly IS, where we get to experience ourselves in the embodied paradox of strength through vulnerability… and a whole other level of intimacy with ourselves and the world around us.