Love and Non-attachment


It seems that family, children, and spouse are the most powerful attachments I feel. If one is attached to their family and still wishes to be free from all attachments, how do they gradually find freedom from this without showing less love and care?

—raina, sweden


Dear Raina,

Our natural bonds of love for our family are the most difficult of relationships in which to understand what nonattachment and freedom means. Yet: it is through our close relationships that we have the greatest spiritual opportunities to grow. Begin by contemplating the spiritual and virtuous qualities of each family member; add to this, contemplating that those qualities and virtues are attributes (aspects) of God, of our souls. Bit by bit, then, begin to see your loved ones not just for their personalities but for their soul qualities, like rays of God’s presence shining through them. With practice and time, you will feel more and more that you are seeing God in each of them, and not just a person who is special to you or different from all others.

In respect to qualities that are not so admirable (faults, quirks, and annoying behaviors), contemplate that they, like you, have lived many, many, many lifetimes. As God gives you the freedom to choose Him, to choose right or wrong actions, so you, too, should follow His example and give to your close ones the freedom to find their way through their errors and shortcomings. This will be easier to do if you practice my first suggestion above.

Lastly, try to feel, imagine or intuit, how, with each loved one, is being reflected back to you, like a mirror, lessons and qualities that you can learn from and/or be helped by. It is all God in various disguises and costumes teaching and guiding you. Pierce the veil of “maya” (of our differences, our likes, dislikes and attachments) to see the One love of God blessing and touching you. Be natural. Be true to yourself and, in so doing, see the highest Truth in all.

Know that in true, divine love you will never lose sight of those who are “yours.” Our lives are intertwined like gold threads in a beautiful tapestry.


Nayaswami Hriman