Attachment to family


I am blessed with 5 wonderful children and a very loving wife. I feel very attached to my family. Is this spirtually wrong? I so much thirst for God every moment of day and night, but I feel so much love for my family. I try to see that love as a love for God as well, but I could use some guidance on how to not turn my love into attachment.

—Kurt, Califonia


Dear Kurt,

Thank you for your beautiful letter. A person who can say they thirst for God every moment is blessed indeed. And how more blessed you are to be able to express that through your family life. Paramhansa Yogananda said something very beautiful: “I don’t speak of non-attachment. I am attached equally to all. Attachment is binding when limited only to a few.”

Isn’t that an expansive way to view attachment? Instead of trying in any way to lessen the love you feel for your family, try to love all people in your life with that much love-because they are the same expressions of God you see in your family. Swami Kriyananda said recently that he loves everyone, because he sees that every person has the same goal: bliss. They may be seeking it differently than he, perhaps mistakenly, but they are reaching toward the same goal.

Every night before sleep you might want to practice focusing on your love for God, and handing each person in your family over into His care. “Lord, this is Your child. I trust that you know exactly what he/she needs and are caring for him. Guide me to be your true helper.”

Of course, it would also help you to have time for private meditation each day (even for 5 minutes), when you could go deeply into the experience of God’s love. You probably already do this, but if you’d like more help with this, you can check the Meditation Support section on our website.

In divine friendship,