Why do we latch on? Because it’s natural. Because it’s the first thing that we learned to do as infants in a new world. We were a part of our mothers, latching onto their breasts that fed our growing spirits. There closeness fed our need for attachment. We latched for survival. We latched for comfort. Our desire to be close to others has been hardwired into every part of our bodies—from the lips that physically fed our survival to our brains that developed from the vitamins that milk produced to nurture our rapidly growing minds. The desire to latch is a part of us and isn’t that beautiful and painful.

It’s painful when past hurts and traumas interfere with that ability to attach or detach. How something so natural can turn into something so ugly. When closeness becomes a reason to stay. When closeness becomes a reason to run away.

We stay attached to the wrong people because we are more afraid of being with ourselves than we are of being with the wrong person. We are accustomed to being an us. Because a solo I is more terrifying than a lonely we.

We stay attached to the wrong people because we are told that we fight for what we want. We are told that true love is something to fight for—a battle to be won. But what happens when you are the only one left fighting. Or if you just don’t want to fight and instead would like to take part in some restorative justice for a change.

We stay attached to the wrong people even when it feels wrong. Because we are told that our happiness is to be sacrificed in the service of others. That our love is dispensable for another warm body with a better x, y or z. Our brains are drunk on endorphins and our bodies crave human warmth. We equate that bodily closeness to human closeness, fearful that someone else may be able to provide that sense of warmth.

We stay attached to the wrong people because we are told both implicitly and explicitly in

Books, Television Shows, Movies, Magazines, Advertisements, Music

And by

Social Media, Marketing Executives, Our Parents, Our Friends, Our Families, Our Grandparents, Our Society

That we are not whole on our own

We stay attached to the wrong person because we are looking for something to be filled by another when really the only person who can fill it is ourselves.

So the challenge now—to love ourselves more than anyone may ever love us.

photo credit: Jordan Whitt

2 thoughts on “Latching On

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