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Moving from Attachment to Abundance

Attachment in NVC means that at some level you're thinking, "My needs have to or should be met in this one way." You have attached one particular strategy to a need or bundle of needs.

Sometimes your strategy is another person. This happens most often with people who play important roles in your life, mother, spouse, best friend, son, or boss.

It's pretty easy to get caught in the idea that those people are suppose to meet certain needs of yours.

Your spouse is suppose to meet all your needs for intimacy and support. Your mother is suppose to or should have met all your needs for nurturing and unconditional love.

When you are attached and others don't respond the way you expect, feelings like anger, resentment, anxiety, desperation, or devastation arise. You might find yourself making demands or threats. You often feel as thought you are in an impossible bind. All are good signs that you have attached a bundle of needs to one strategy.

In some cases attachment has you carry anger and resentment around for years by thinking over and over again, "My dad should apologize for the mistakes he made as a father. He should take responsibility for what he did." You want acceptance and understanding around what happened for you in your childhood and you're attached to those needs being met by your dad.

Abundance in this context means you have many strategies to meet one need. When you have a lot of strategies for meeting your needs, you respond differently when one strategy doesn't work. For example, if your spouse is your favorite strategy for intimacy and support and he or she is unavailable, you'll likely feel disappointment and sadness rather than anger and resentment.

The key to an abundance of life satisfaction is to get subtle about noticing when your needs are met. When needs are met it's easy to sort of sail along unconsciously, until you hit a bump. When you give more attention to those times when you are feeling content, fulfilled, inspired, or energized, you learn what strategies help you be in alignment with yourself and your life. Begin to ask yourself these questions: What needs were met and how were they met? If you felt happy after meeting with a friend examine exactly what transpired. What did they say, how did they listen, what actions did they take? What were you saying or doing? What kind of attitude, state of mind, or attention were you bringing? What needs were met?

The more aware you are of an abundance of strategies to meet your needs, the more your life will be imbued with a sense of confidence and equanimity.

Today, notice positive feelings when they arise and connect them to the strategies that met your needs.

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Heart-full Requests

2 Responses

  1. Oct 21, 2010

    Dear LaShelle, I just wanted to mention how useful I found this latest "Connection Gem." You put into words ideas that have been floating around in my head for a long time. Thanks!

  2. Oct 21, 2010
    Tam An Tran

    Dear LaShelle, Once again you write about things that perhaps many of us can identify with. At least I know this is the case with me. 'Attachment' in NVC sounds a lot like 'attachment' in the Buddhist practice, of. 'non-attachment' to our own ideas, grasping to meet our needs, etc. and the realization that such attachments only bring suffering to ourselves and others.

    At the same time, not everyone, for example, is the right Teacher for us and not every solution works. It is then that Teacher and Disciple need to be open to other means of alleviating suffering and 'meeting our need.' I think this is where 'Abundance' or the 'Practice of Contentment' applies! Thanks again!

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