Is Attachment Really Love?

The path to love doesn’t end with surrender, although in a way there is nothing more to do. The process of letting go is all that spirit needs in order to enter your life. The rest is a ripening of the union between self and Self.

There is, however, still the enormous issue of how two people can surrender to each other completely. No matter how much love you begin to feel within, you must still reflect it to your beloved. Two spiritual people living together don’t automatically make a spiritual relationship. Therefore we want to ask in practical terms how love increases between two souls. The ego is not easily defeated in its preoccupation with everything but love.

Surrender is not achieved until you surrender completely to your beloved. To accomplish this you must relinquish everything that deprives you of love and nurture everything that comes from love.

One way that people deprive themselves of love is especially confusing because it seems to be a way to increase it: This is attachment. In its mildest form attachment is the desire to be with someone special. Even in preadult forms attachment has two sides–it both includes and excludes. Adult relationships carry attachment to a deeper level, but the exclusivity remains.

Love and attachment are not the same thing. Love allows your beloved the freedom to be unlike you. Attachment asks for conformity to your needs and desires. Love imposes no demands. Attachment expresses an overwhelming demand: “Make me feel whole.” Love expands beyond the limits of two people. Attachment tries to exclude everything but two people.

Yet attachment has a deeper spiritual meaning. It represents an attempt to reach unity by merging with another soul.

Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).

114 comments

Rosa mc
Lydia Mcintyre3 years ago

Love this article! so true. Love lets the other person be who they are and not try to change or control them to the way you want them to be.

Jennifer U.
Jennifer A.3 years ago

Love is like art, everyone has their own definition of it.

Kunsioux D.
Animae C.3 years ago

Becky Y. has said it perfectly for me.

Bethany M.
Past Member 3 years ago

Nope.

Giana Peranio-paz

In order to be able to love someone other than ourselves we must be independent and self reliable and self appreciative. Becoming too attached or dependent on a person creates a sick relationship. Each person is first and foremost a person in his own right.

Becky Y.
Rebecca Y.3 years ago

Now that I am older and have thought about love and attachment, I object to the fact that the only kind of love addressed here is between two people. It feels like Deepak is saying that the only fulfillment is the love in a committed relationship. I have learned this is not so. For me, attachment to a person is definitely not really love. I have learned that loving is the most important thing in life. To be a loving person, one must understand that love comes in so many different sizes and shapes and colors. One cannot be prejudiced, or judgmental when it comes to loving, but embrace love in all it's forms. We cannot put restrictions on who we are allowed to love for if we do then we do not understand love at all. Love is selfless, love is kind and love is beautiful. Play it forward.

Vicky P.
Vicky P.3 years ago

attachment doesn't equal love, no..

Anne Moran
Anne Moran3 years ago

WELL FOR STARTERS,, WHEN TWO PEOPLE LOVE EACH OTHER THEY ARE SAID --- ''TO BE ATTACHED AT THE HIP'' --- THEY 'ARE' ONE... LOVE '' IS '' INDEED ABOUT ATTACHMENT... LOVE IS NOT ABOUT ''SURRENDERING'' ANYTHING, IT'S ABOUT THE UNION OF TWO PEOPLE... THE ONLY THING YOU ARE 'SURRENDERING' IS BEING SINGLE... AGAIN, MORE NONSENSE FROM MR. CHOPRA....

Sue H.
Sue H.3 years ago

Thanks for the re-post from 2008. We do need reminders.

Nicole Weber
Nicole W.3 years ago

thank you