Thoughts on Yasmin Mogahed’s comment on Attachment

March 2, 2018G

Yasmin Mogahed urges her followers to”Try not to confuse “attachment” with “love”. Attachment is about fear and dependency and has more to do with love of self than love of another. Love without attachment is the purest love because it isn’t about what others can give you because you are empty. It is about what you can give others because you are already full”. I do not know the context of this comment. Perhaps in terms of altruism or aspiration, this quote is a noble sentiment. Maybe she is referencing what Larissa MacFarquhar explores in Strangers Drowning.  But I latched on to that one word, attachment. It is one big word in the context of adoption. Google it. Attachment is connection. Attachment is not the evil twin of love. You may see yourself as an independent bag of chemicals or a being infused with something which makes you part of a wider universe; either way attachment, whether to a person, place, thing or idea is something that binds/connects/ties. “Attachment” refers to a vacuum cleaner hose for sucking up dust but it also refers to reasons and ways to connect to an emotion – whether love or another of a fair variety of emotions. And having worked this paragraph over a few times now, I admit ‘attachment’ is very difficult to adequately define. I still say though that it is not in competition with ‘love’.
But having accepted that perhaps Mogahed sees attachment as the emotion itself, my perhaps pompous mind has a question. If attachment is about fear and dependency, what generates this ‘purest love’? How does a person become “already full”? I do, of course, recognize that fear and dependency motivate attachment for the little one who worries about who will be feeding his or her tiny, hungry tummy. But how love blossoms in a person has to be asked.
Then again, maybe, maybe, just maybe, my mind is connecting the word ‘attachment’ to the ways we find to cultivate love rather than disparage attachment as an emotion in competition to love because of a book I have just finished reading. The title might even suggest where such love may come from, Born for Love by Maia Szalavitz and Bruce D. Perry. On page 315 they talk about introducing reading “…in the laps of caring parents, siblings or grandparents….” This they suggest is just one way to encourage love to grow and hopefully fill one more person with love. My thanks then to Yasmin Mogahed for giving me a nice segway to the many considerations of attachment as it relates to adopting families.

Author: Gail Vincent

I am a 2/3rdser, physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, spiritually. I never quite get where I am expected to go or personally choose to go. It is evident in this blog set up to examine such a life. Still, hopefully, a bit of self-awareness energizes the need to keep seeking for I want to tell my son his story.

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