to love without attachment

Photo by Jana Marquez

By Jana Marquez

“Every time I feel good, I think it’ll last forever.”

In the pilot episode of the ever-popular HBO drama euphoria, Zendaya’s character Rue utters these words, highlighting her battle with addiction. She goes on to chase this feeling, escaping with it through any means. even though it won’t really last forever, she’ll try anything to have it feel like it is.

In some ways, I am also chasing that feeling. That euphoria (sorry!) that doesn’t come to me in quite the same forms as Rue, but rather in idealism: in things, people, experiences, or rather, the idea of them.

Maybe it’s my piscean nature, but I am a daydreamer. I can paint the perfect picture in my mind, down to every last detail, and blissfully live in my head forever. it’s almost enough to keep me fully content; the idea of love that i’ve concocted, that i’ve seen in my favorite characters and shows, the ideas i’ve filled the shoes of, adopting them as my own experiences. It’s almost enough until it’s not, and I become too stuck in my own head, and I need to step out. What coincided was me concocting all of the scary stuff, too. Fear-based narratives that felt so real to me but weren’t tangible in my physical reality.

It’s that daydream-like quality I put on almost every good thing I encounter in my life. The perfect version of things I’ve concocted. I love romanticizing my life – but sometimes I take it a step too far that it’s no longer my own life I’m romanticizing, but something I’ve fabricated in my own reality.

I think that quality I see in everything is why I cling so tightly to what comes my way – love, people, experiences, things. I cling so tight but it no longer comes from a place of love, but a place of fear. I would cling so tightly to people, experiences, and moments because I was scared I would never get that feeling with anything else ever again. I was determined to make that bliss last forever, but in doing so, I wasn’t allowing myself to honor the moments for what they were.

I didn’t allow myself to slow down, to experience the magic that happens in the pause. I experienced everything from a place of lack, fear of losing it, rather than curiosity and openness to change, or embracing the possibility that the best feelings I was going to feel hadn’t even come my way yet. I always thought things were only ever going to be as good as they were in that moment, that I Iost out on the magic in that moment. That I need to have this feeling last forever.

I don’t want to love conditionally – to love only if the situation meets my set of terms. to love a person only if they were complying. How can I say I love someone “unconditionally” but expect them to show up. perfectly for me all the time. I don’t need to grip onto these things and people so tightly, ruining the images I have of them in my mind until I feel resentment.

I can love without possessing, and I can love while letting people be. I think I hold on so tight because I fear that if I don’t, I’ll miss out on something. but I am free to let others be, let experiences and feelings come and go as they please and be what they will.

I can trust that what’s truly for me won’t ever slip or pass me by. I can love people and things without the need to possess, and learn to enjoy my beautiful connections without attachment.

I thought only those external moments and people were what I experienced to be love, but I realize now that I was experiencing myself. The love and magic I see in these outside things, is a reflection of the love and magic I already had within me. I just had to release my grip on the reins a bit and allow myself to enjoy them. 

So now, when I do get a good feeling, I acknowledge that maybe it won’t last forever. Maybe it will ebb and flow and take new forms in my life, but it will always be welcome to come back. I will be happy to welcome it back in every time.

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