It wasn’t until recently that I realized how attached I am to the idea of security. My best friend since 9th grade revealed he was in love with me and ceased having any contact with me whatsoever.
What hurt the most was losing ground. Feeling left alone. Seeing how someone can throw you out of his life with as much as a wave. The most intimidating thing of all- having your whole feeling of safety evaporate.
S. was my point of balance. He was the safety net giving me the freedom and confidence to run naked in the world and explore its vastness without fear. Knowing that he was there and he cared was enough for me to make the world my playground and feed my curiosity as long as I would like to. At least until I hurt myself and have to run back for help (his wanting to help me being enough to cure me).
My way of thinking about our friendship was nothing extraordinary on its own. Years of togetherness sewed in me this feeling of comfort so sweet and valuable in a friendship, yet so poisonous when it is to be something more. Revealing myself as deeply as possible to imagine, I set this friendship to be what most of us build for themselves in one way or another- a harbor of security. I stole my friend’s freedom to be who he is in exchange for making him this single trusted person I could go to when everything had fallen apart- a hero of his own power.
Losing your balance makes you feel nauseous. Kids play fearlessly only when they know there is someone to watch out for them. When they hurt themselves they cry to call for attention. If there is nobody to look for you or just be there for you, you are alone with the pain.
A few days ago I spent the afternoon with Mitko, a Middlebury college alumnus, I had met a couple of weeks ago who had now become a trusted friend. As we walked the streets of Sofia, escaping from the heavy sun under the shadows of the old buildings surrounding us, I got a glimpse of something I had not seen before. For a moment, it looked like my whole desire for self-development was nothing else but another attempt to ensure myself security, to escape in a way.
For almost two years I have put all my effort into self-development, improvement, and flaw-repairing. Mindfulness, acceptance, non-judgement, non-attachment, polyamory, conscious sexuality and other fancy-sounding terms come to describe different aspects of my philosophy and my journey. Each one of these and everything that comes with it is a part of me. And as new as the ideas are to me, the intentions underlying them have been present long ago. Evident in my distinct way to experience life, to put myself out there, to open up, let go, and ultimately- LOVE. Amidst all of this is the fear (a highly plausible one!) that it is all just another form of pursuing safety. As If I practice this or that, I will not experience the situations that frustrate me or scare me- the ones that make me feel weak or out of control.
Life is not safe- how well I know that! Security is an illusion. A well preserved one. One to fight for, to lie to yourself for, to live for and to die for. Still, an illusion. Confessions are hardest to make to myself. I am insecure. I want support. I am not yet self-sufficient. And I find it easy to share my sad stories only when I can finish with a happy ending.
Maybe it is enough to be honest about it. To be mindful and consciously investigatingyour behavior and your being for hidden attachments. To push yourself towards everything that ever scares you. To free yourself without fear and to set up free everyone else you may be holding on to with Love. And learn that Love is with us and within us in every single moment of our being. If only we can recognize it.
Practice will show.
♥Maggie Nazer is a social entrepreneur, activist, blogger and current Middlebury college student.