You have mirror neurons in your brain that help you connect and feel empathy, uplevelling consciousness blog, 5.15.14. These help you develop connections, feel connected, attached in the Bowlby-an sense (Attachment, John Bowlby, Basic Books, 1969) and belong to society. This is a basic driving force in human development.
But how you develop your connections, how you discern what to do and how to do it is through modeling, through observing your environment so IF your environment is chaotic and skewed you will develop a skew in how you connect, what you perceive as normal, and what you attach to with respect to your group connections, beliefs and values (Bowlby, Holmes, Gineris).
This is how basic marketing, propaganda, and brain-washing work; especially when the information and presentation is intentionally meant to control thinking and actions. The range of manipulation goes from benign to harmful.
With this in mind, the word attachment has two vastly different meanings depending on the context.
Attachment in bonding can free you, assist you in developing a stronger sense of esteem and resilience or strength
Attachment to ideology can numb you and skew your thinking patterns or actions so that you have limited freedom and control.
Understanding the positive effects of attachment in bonding is really important to use the mirror neurons and modeling to create a higher level of consciousness. Bowlby’s work references that attachment is necessary for individualization and interdependence. You move from a dependent relationship to independence to the capacity for interdependence in relationship. (see more also in Turning No to On: The art of Partnering with Mindfulness, Gineris, 2013). This cannot be accomplished without attachment. There is actually a psychiatric behavioral problem called reactive attachment disorder, an excellent 2013 blog re: new DSM 5 criteria for RAD, specifically because being attached is the first step in evolving into an independent whole being able to make connections with others. Attachment in bonding occurs in the first few years of life and if the opportunity is missed, distorted, interrupted, neglectful or traumatic then the capacity for the child to develop a healthy attachment is dramatically affected (negatively). This is similar to imprinting with ducks, there is a time period within the human brain to incorporate this experience of connection and bonding – when it is missed the child may not be able to efficiently develop empathy, and the capacity for connection.
Understanding the negative aspects of attachment in an entirely different context. Being attached to an idea or a specific way in which something should look leads a person down a path of inflexibility, and a lack of a capacity to paradigm shift and collaborate; the person is unable to have an interdependent relationship. The person is actually driven to create this picture and therefore misses the opportunities in relationship and life. Here attachment refers to a perception attachment, attachment in perception or paradigm- an attachment to things looking a certain way or an ideology– rather than the concept of attachment to a significant other in bonding.
Attachment to an idea or perception is something that is cognitive in nature and can be undone. It requires insight. It requires mindfulness and the capacity to paradigm shift. When you look at the picture to the left you may see a duck – or a bunny. What you see has something to do with your attachment to what a duck or bunny look like. If you are strongly attached to one paradigm you may not be able to see the other. This is a tangible example of how attachment to an idea can create conflict, battles, where the conflict doesn’t exist. Both images are there, depending on your orientation. Most arguments are about perception, orientation, and beliefs that are connected to context. Once you can see the other side and see both sides then you can see your attachment and then choose to remain attached or find a middle space in the interaction. (Gineris, 2013)
In parenting the more you can develop a strong resilient healthful attachment with your child the better your child’s ability to create powerful, positive relationships throughout his or her life. For more on how to do that check out the books at the end of this blog.
In relationship the more you can see though your identified attachment to things looking a specific way – which drives you to react habitually in relationships rather than to respond in real time in a mindful way- to mindfully interacting, the better and more fulfilling your relationships can and will be.
When talking about attachment, clarify the context. Strengthen bonding through trustworthy responsiveness to your child. Respond in the moment with an open, mindful mind and loving heart, and your relationships will broaden and strengthen. in love and light, bg
Bowlby, John. Attachment. Basic Books Inc, Publishers: New York, 1969.
Gineris, Beth, Turning No to ON: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness. Createspace: Charleston, NC, 2011.
Gineris, Beth, Turning Me to WE: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness. Createspace: Charleston, NC, 2013.
Holmes, Jeremy, Attachment, Intimacy, Autonomy. Jason Aronson, Inc: Northvale, New Jersey, 1996.
(Gesell, Ames, and Ilg – any of their books on child development.)
You can find out more in at http://www.bethgineris.com.
Discover where you are in the Temperament and the MAAPS section. You can see how you see the world, and whether you have an attachment that is creating problems in our relationships. MAAPS will help you to discern your insecurities and understand how and what underlies how you developed your insecurity driver (Money, Achievement, Attachment,Power, Structure). in love and light, bg