Contrary to what people think, letting go isn’t a challenge. At least, not for everyone. Well, not for me. Au contraire, holding on is a definite challenge.
You are probably thinking I am crazy. But the truth is that you cannot be in a real relationship unless you can hold on. If you are adrift, then there is no relationship to speak of. (For those of you interested in Vedic astrology, I have planet Ketu in my ascendant sign, which may give some insight into this behavior.)
A friend once told me, not unkindly, “You only call when you have some work with me.” She said it in Hindi, and that sounded somewhat harsh. Of course, I took it terribly to heart, thinking that I had a problem. I couldn’t be a loyal friend, I was an opportunist, that I couldn’t be bothered with keeping up with friends.
The truth is that I have very few friends. I have wonderful relations with almost everyone I meet, and it is likely many consider me as a friend. But I see myself as a loner, a solo traveler. So, even if it might seem like you and I are awfully pally with each other, I think it is clear that I am less attached, even noncommittal.
I did commit to marriage, didn’t I? I am committed to a job, to being a responsible citizen. But ask anything more of me, and I will demur. I will most likely bow out. I will freeze.
Formerly, I thought this was a problem. Us human beings are so conditioned to be social beings, loyal to family and community and friends… you know all that. I think women are subject to this more so than men are.
Well, a wise woman told me that this was just who I was. I probably couldn’t change myself, even if I tried. I do wonder if this personality trait has kept me from having children. Ahh, well.
So, yes. I care about everyone in my life. I have no bitterness or resentment. But I do have a challenge being a good friend, as the definition goes. I have difficulty forming lasting attachments. C’est la vie, such is life.
Now this might seem like an advantage for folks who consider themselves spiritual-minded, who look at attachment as the root cause of sorrow, who wish to be free and detached. However, being adrift is no fun. It can possibly result in isolation, poverty, homelessness. Some sort of grounding helps. Marriage, career, children, etc. can provide that grounding. Of course, sometimes the grounding element becomes a constraint. It starts to bind you, restrict that freedom.
Finding the balance is bliss.