We often think of attraction as a good thing. The attraction to things, events, and people is a pull we feel towards these objects. The stronger the pull, the greater the attraction. However, attraction brings pain, especially if we don’t get the object of our desire. Why does this happen? Wasn’t the person or the thing supposed to make us happy? After all, we were attracted to it.
The other side of attraction is a sense of lack – or a sense of worthlessness. This is because we get attracted to something with the sole purpose of getting fulfilled by it. The very moment we are attracted to something, the sense of lack is reinforced. When we say “I love you”, the subtle subtext is “come fulfill me”. This is why strong attraction brings about deep pain. The pain isn’t really about the object leaving us. The pain is in recognizing that “I am worthless”, “I am unfulfilled”. This recognition that “I am empty” is intolerable for the human spirit.
How do we go about healing this? We begin by understanding that our attraction to things is a reflection of our own trauma, our pain. In that sense, by observing what we are attracted to, we can understand ourselves. Often, people fall for similar partners, especially abusive ones. The partner may be verbally or physically abusive, or the partner may be dismissive and not engage emotionally, or the partner may be subsumed in drugs and alcohol. We get out of one relationship and then fall into a similar one. This happens because we are attracted to those people who bring out the hidden trauma – the feeling of worthlessness. Think of it as a gift from nature. Nature pushes us to heal this worthlessness, and so repeats it again and again until we learn from it.
The human mind loves freedom. And desperately seeks to be free. Our experiences in life, often traumatize us. We do not resolve these emotions. We tend to brush them under the carpet and get involved with activities, work, friends, substances in order to escape the emotional pain. This slowly accumulates in our psyche and our bodies. All our triggered emotional outbursts are an expression of this trauma. Many of our diseases begin through stress and trauma – which are unresolved, suspended, accumulated emotional responses to events.
In order to prevent ourselves from falling again and again into these repetitive patterns, observe your strong attraction. See which part of the body this impacts. The chest? The stomach? The throat? The region around the head? By coming close to these emotional responses, we delink them from the external world. We take responsibility for our emotions. This delinking is crucial to understand that no external thing can fulfill us. We must resolve the feeling of lack in ourselves first. Once this is done, we do not “fall for objects and people” with the hope that there will be salvation. We become comfortable being ourselves. We come home.
Does this mean that we drop our likes? Our proclivities? Our passions? Our relationships?
No. We simply reverse the reason as to why we engage with these objects or passions. We enter into a relationship to express our caring, our love and to express our intimacy. We do not enter into a relationship to feel loved, cared for and to obtain intimacy. Although, this is a natural occurring when both partners – who are fulfilled by themselves – express themselves in this manner. The same is true with an activity like sport or art. You play the piano to express your feelings, your pain, your love, and so on. You don’t play the piano to get accolades, prizes, trophies, or to win competitions. Our actions come from a space of creative expression of ourselves rather than a need to acquire something in order to feel content. This reversal of our psychological attitude is critical to being free.
So the next time you are blown off your feet. Pause. Reflect. And understand that it might be your own trauma playing out.