Do you fear abandonment? You may not be quivering in trepidation every single moment of the day. But when triggered, does an avalanche of insecurity, distrust, and worry descend from the hidden corridors of your mind?
The fear of abandonment comes into play often enough in my life. Here are two examples.
Will They Be Here for Me?
After meeting with a new therapist a few times, I asked for assurance that he wouldn’t move away. He’d been on the island for about a year. But knowing the transitory nature of this place, anyone can be here in one moment and gone the next. So I needed to hear he’s sinking roots and won’t just vanish one day. I needed to hear, he’ll be here for me.
I met an amazing doctor who exuded so much centered, loving calmness that it felt like connecting with a genuine spiritual teacher. He assured me - not with bravado, but with gentle and genuine confidence - that he fully understood my condition. “You’ve been alone with this until now, “ he said. “Now you have us to hold this as well.” Tears streamed from my eyes, feeling the depth of his care and commitment.
Later that evening, a scary thought flashed through my mind, “What will happen when the treatment doesn’t always work because I’m hyper-sensitive to sundry pills and potions. Will he just abandon me?” I felt my cheeks wet with tears, that proceeded to roll over my chin. Drops of fear, drops of sadness, drops of uncertainty.
I instinctively put my hands on my heart and said, “I will never abandon you. I will never abandon you.”
Fear Stays Alive Unless You Lean Into It
I don’t know where these disconcerting fears of abandonment come from. My parents were always there for me, at least physically. But my father suffered from actual abandonment at an early age. I can’t help but wonder if his silent but bleeding wounds somehow infiltrated my being, leaving indents in my neural pathways and this catching feeling in my heart.
Whatever the origin, I know this fear stays alive in me because I never pay heed to it, not in a curious, thoughtful, and careful way. Instead, whenever it appears, I shove it back inside.
I know this new path of greater self-sovereignty means making and holding this promise to myself, “I will never abandon you. I will never abandon you.”
How Much Can You Rely Upon Others?
I don’t remember the exact quote, but I recall this sentiment from Anais Nin, “Every human being is treacherous to every other human being because they must be true to their own soul.”
I believe in healthy relationships. I believe in sweet friendships. I believe in supporting one another and depending upon each other in a non-sticky way. We need each other’s love, care, and support in this complex, topsy-turvy world. And simply because we’re human. As the Dalai Lama has said, “Love is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.” Babies need love to thrive. Why would humans be any different?
But I know everything changes as well. The person you love one day may be unavailable or gone the next. People move, they drop off the internet, they get involved in a different flow of life. When the karma between you and another person finishes, the attraction or connection might dissolve in a flash.
I realize that after death, as my mental body travels the in-between states, I’ll only have my awareness and good karma to rely upon. It’s said that if you have devotion to a spiritual teacher, they will appear and guide you at this critical juncture when you could take birth in a pure realm or instead be propelled by your karma to take birth in another crazy world. So I may not be alone during this period, but this too depends on developing the self-reliance of my own mind in the present time.
Undoubtedly, this fear of abandonment will pop up again whenever the opportunity for a genuine friendship, caring partnership, or loving relationship appears. But I have my simple, single anti-abandonment strategy, the only one I’ll ever need. I put my hands over my heart and whisper sweetly to myself: “I will never abandon you. I will never abandon you.”
People may come and go in my life, but I will never abandon myself.
Does the fear of abandonment effect you? How do you manage it? I would love to hear.
Thank you for reading! I appreciate your presence. Have you signed up for my monthly note - Wild Arisings - yet? Learn more and join here - you'll get some goodies too. May you be well, happy, and safe – always. With love, Sandra