Whenever we approach Valentine’s Day each February, I usually write about the blessings of love. But what about the flip side? Lost love? Or clinging to those we love? Just as Christmas-time can be painful for many, so can Valentine’s Day.
Sometimes it’s hard not to cling to the things or people we love. We all succumb to that at some point. But ultimately, it never works.
Let’s start by talking about clinging to what has been lost in the past. If our loved one dies, or we lose all our money or a beloved object, it’s right and healthy to mourn. In fact, suppressing our feelings of loss just perpetuates the pain of loss, because it will get buried in the subconscious (and often manifests later as physical disease). For this reason, consciously grieving is essential, because eventually it frees us to move on. If we cling forever to a person or an object that is gone, we become stuck in the past. We are not facing what is. We are living in a painful dreamworld and missing out on life. (For those struggling with the death of a loved one, I highly recommend the book The Courage to Grieve by Judy Tatelbaum.)
Resentment is another form of clinging to the past — clinging to the idea that things should have been different. They weren’t. What’s past is past. Clinging to the past in this way doesn’t change a thing — it just poisons your present and future.
So what about clinging right now to the things we love?
Visualize the energy of love versus the energy of clinging. Love is open, it is flowing, it is freely given and received. Clinging is about grabbing and clutching. It is a form of desperation born out of fear.
If you are clinging to someone, they can feel it, even if you aren’t physically touching them. That’s because you are energetically sending out cords that grab at them. We all know what that feels like and how we react to it: “Get off of me! Yuck!” No one likes the sensation of being clung to. We may tolerate it with our young children, but in general, clinging just generates revulsion. And it doesn’t work.
What about clinging to objects? There is a difference between saving your pennies or cherishing an object versus clinging to these things. In the extreme, clinging to things become hoarding, gorging, binging. Once again, it’s about fear, and sometimes it’s about addiction. Ultimately it backfires because we become trapped by the objects we cling to. The energy of clinging may draw things toward us, but eventually these things entomb us, bury us, weigh us down.
Of course, sometimes it’s very hard not to cling to the ones we love. Fear of loss is a hard thing to overcome and I struggle with it myself. Here’s a few pieces of advice that I have found helpful.
First, consider the fact that we can literally “call our fears to us.” That is the message of the Rabbit in indigenous lore. The rabbit runs around saying “Don’t eat me! Don’t eat me!” and thereby draws its predators to it. In other words, what we perpetually focus on is brought nearer into reality.
Second, consider what the Sedona Method has to say about fear — that subconsciously we often want what we fear. Even if it this sounds counter-intuitive, I encourage you to consider this possibility. By consciously trying release any subconscious desire for what we fear, we can often release the fear itself.
Finally, refocus on Gratitude and Trust — gratitude for what you are actually receiving, and trust that the future will play out as it is meant to and should. By blending our energy with these more open states, we not only feel better within, but we create a world that is better for all of us. The meditations and exercises in Active Consciousness will also be helpful in achieving this.