We’re so attached to being liked

Dec 17, 2019

QUESTION

Hi Robina.

I’ve been doing a lot of work contemplating on your teachings that I have found online. I find the recurrent theme of wanting to be loved, seeking approval from others as one of the most prevalent attachment of mine. This attachment is the one that has plagued me most in my life. I never expected it to be. But the more I listen to your teachings over and over, the more truth I see in this. I find myself constantly worrying about upsetting others to the point of paranoia. 

You mentioned that attachment is obvious when we get upset when the ideal situation doesn’t happen. And for me, usually that entails my perception that someone doesn’t think nicely of me. My most recent situation is that of my roommate. After reaching a boiling point over “personality conflicts” and having “my boundaries not being respected,” I told him to think about moving out because my house may not suit his needs. Then I was shocked that he decided to move out by the end of this month. I became extremely resentful and felt that I was at fault. 

Like you mentioned before, this seed of anger that caused me to tell him off was always in me, and his actions were the perfection condition, not the cause of anger manifesting. I see the manifestation of my anger, and the subsequent sadness of my attachment not getting what it wants in a roommate. Now that I have recognized that these afflictions are based on my attachment, what exactly do I do with the lingering sadness and my fear of missing out? Do I meditate analytically on it until it goes away? I think I reached a stumbling point. Like you said, this kind of work is like putting your hand in your own sh*t. I think that describes the purpose of this experience. Thank you for reading my thoughts. 

Love

L

 

Dearest L,

Happy to hear from you, as always.

Okay, first of all, there’s plain old anger with your roommate because he didn’t behave as you wanted. And that’s attachment not getting what it wants.

But I’m also hearing pride in there: your boundaries not being respected. 

But feeling resentful when he moved out — that puzzles me! You should have been delighted!

The main thing is you’re seeing your mind, L, you’re seeing the delusions. What you do with them? You argue with them, see their lack of logic. Slowly slowly you learn new habits. They don’t go away over night.

You’re doing well, it seems to me.

And the other thing you need to do is to delight in your progress, to rejoice. You must do this. Simply think positive thoughts. Say the words to yourself. That’s a very powerful antidote to the delusions.

Love to you,

Robina

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