What’s the Difference between Love and Attachment?

I’m out of town, taking care of some business as I write this, as I have been for the last week or so. My husband is at home, holding down the fort. But one of the members of our household, Beast, the cat, went missing last week for a couple of days.Beastie is 17, and has been with me since he was 3 or so (we don’t know exactly, as I got him at a shelter, where someone took him when his first humans moved away). When I met him, on vacation, I’d had no intention of coming home with a second cat. But when I picked him up, he melted into me, and that was it. He was my cat; I was his human.For some great Beastie stories, see this, this, and this. Suffice it to say that I love this cat with all my heart.

He is in somewhat ill health with the beginnings of kidney failure, which I manage with supplements I mix into his food each day, and by giving him subcutaneous hydration once or twice a week. (Yes, I give him injections of Ringer’s solution with a HUGE needle. It takes 2 humans to do it, and is no fun for any of the three of us.) This Kidney disease is eventually fatal, so he is on his way out, if somewhat slowly. It has caused the ‘always hungry’ kitty to lose a lot of weight.

So when he went missing, Kosta, my husband, and I both sent telepathic messages to Beast to COME HOME NOW! Usually, Beastie will show up at our back door within a couple of hours of one of these messages from Kosta, but this time — nothing.

I thought maybe he’d gone off to die in the woods behind our house. And I’m not home to even say goodbye. That was incredibly hard on me.

But that got me to thinking: what is the difference between love and attachment? Because if I only love him, then I want the best for him, and if that is going off in the woods to die (which is normal for a cat), then that should make me happy. But it didn’t. It just made me sad.

I realize that the love is a feeling of warmth in my heart. What was making me sad was the (presumed) loss of the joy of connecting with a physical Beast — petting his fur, hearing him purr and meow, watching him jump into someone’s lap, feeling my heart energy returned by him. That’s the attachment part. That’s about me, not him.

Think about this in your own life: How much of what you call love for someone or something is actually just your own attachment, your concern for yourself in relationship to that person or thing?

PS – Beastie did show up eventually — having gained weight! So he has conned some other family into feeding him. Which would be okay if he didn’t need his meds. So in the short term I’m relieved, while concerned about the longer term. What if it’s best for him to enjoy his food and leave the earth plane sooner rather than later?

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.