Do you have a favorite childhood stuffed animal or toy? What was your comfort when you were a kid? Was it a stuffed animal? A pacifier? Mine was, or rather is, two blankets. Everyone who knows me really really well knows about these blankets. They are my favorite items from my childhood. I could never imagine tossing them away. I should have been embarrassed to have kept them past the age of nine. We are way beyond that. I grew up with a lot of turmoil in my home that really came to a head when I was nine and it just got worse ever since. My family was unreliable. I love my sister more than anything else but since she is the younger one, I always felt the need to protect her, not the other way around. Everything was so uncertain and I didn’t feel comfortable anywhere, except when I had my blankets.
This doesn’t seem like the most devastating problem. The blankets aren’t the issue, though the more I talk about it the more ridiculous it seems. The issue is that when we have something outside of us that we are deeply uncomfortable without, that is where all of our power goes. My sense of comfort and home for a long time was my blankets. My mom has this super embarrassing story of me where apparently I would stand outside the dryer whenever she had to wash them, waiting for them to come out. The attachment was next level. That dependence, whatever makes you feel comfortable, can be found in anything. It isn’t the physical manifestation that matters, it is the energy behind it. The form it takes it just a clue to highlight that you have that energy within you that is out of balance. I could see the same thing happening in certain relationships because I had the energy of dependency. Comfort food hasn’t really been my thing, but I completely understand it. Same energy, same issue, same power drain, different face. Having something in your life that makes you feel loved, nostalgic, and comfortable isn’t bad unless you forget where your power truly comes from.
You need to leave that comfort zone in order to let your Spirit* grow. Surrounding the mentality that all of the Love you could possibly receive is in whatever vessel you have become attached to are these invisible, unspoken boundaries. There are parts of you that will not want you to leave this space. Why would you? You are completely happy there. Whatever thing gives you that love and happiness is within arms reach. Why fix what isn’t broken? It is already broken if you would lose your mind and heart if that thing disappeared. As ridiculous as it may sound, there was a point where if I lost these blankets I thought I would never get over it. I would be completely destroyed. Sounds a bit melodramatic, right? Replace “blanket” with relationship, money, house, photographs, food, clothes, whatever and it will make more sense. Replace it with your “thing” and you will understand. As long as that “thing” has all of the power, you cannot grow and learn to be self-sustainable.
Consider what the personal vessel means to you. For me, my blankets meant not only softness, love, and comfort but also patience, compassion, understanding, empathy, and peace. It may sound insane to project this on two oversized pieces of fabric. However, when I was younger… and older… when I was really upset, the first thing I would look forward to is getting into my bed grabbing my blankets, and holding space for myself. The blankets just so happened to be there for me while I was being patient, compassionate, understanding, empathetic, and peaceful with myself in ways that I couldn’t find anywhere else. It was those energies that I needed, not my blankets. What I didn’t realize was that I was actually providing all of that for myself and I didn’t need my personal items to do it for me. Knowing that I could provide this for myself allowed me to heal the attachment.
Again, I am far from above it all. There was a time when if I even thought of releasing them, my mind would look like a circus. I would not be able to bring myself to do it, something else would have to happen beyond my control. Yikes. Sometimes I do think getting rid of the “thing” is necessary to see that you can stand on your own two feet. Other times getting rid of the attachment is enough. One summer while I was in university, I had the great privilege to travel for a couple of months. When I was younger, my blankets were in every car, on every vacation, at every sleepover… you get the point. It came to the point where I had a hard time sleeping without them. As I was packing for the month ahead, I looked at them and realized there was no f*cking chance I could bring the blankets with me. I went into panic mode. I was going to be gone for a long time. I had outgrown the habit of taking them everywhere, but this was going to be months! I was so used to just having them around in my room, just in case (of what I am not entirely sure now). But what if I was robbed? What if someone took them? I was moving into uncharted territory, traveling somewhere completely unknown and without the things that made me feel the most safe. I was going to be staying in a lot of shared spaces, so I really couldn’t take the risk. (I actually was stolen from and I would have lost my sh*t at the time if my blankets were amongst my belongings). Over the course of the trip, I learned how to be without them. It was way easier than I thought. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep, since that is hard to do for me in strange places. I got over it. Some nights were harder than others (I am really sensitive to snoring) but I was just fine. It was just in my head that I would be unable to cope. It seems like such a small thing, but I learned that I am my own comfort. Suddenly, I didn’t need the relationship that I had with my blankets anymore.
Having my blankets served me, when I was nine. The mentality and energy surrounding served me, when I was nine. There was a time and a place for all of that. I still have them by the way. It is important to distinguish what is restricting you. I know that I will be fine if they disappear into thin air. Do I prefer that? Absolutely not. Similarly to anything else I have e.g. photographs are a big thing for me, letters, possessions of my ancestors, they are all nostalgic and have sentimental value to me. I wouldn’t toss them in the trash. I needed to be free from the need that bound me to them. I need to free myself from the unhealthy, dependent relationship I created. I created it out of sheer necessity and survival at an age when I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know how to deal with anything when I was nine. I know better now and when you know better you need to do better. I believe it is necessary to note that shifting the relationship with the energy of attachment is what is more important. If I were to just throw away my blankets without confronting the root of what was limiting me, it would just show up as something else. I would have put a bandaid on the symptom of the issue. The energy is within you and manifests as something that appears to be outside of you. That is what you need to heal. If you pay too much attention to the form, you may miss the core of what is happening. The form is there to guide you to something within yourself. If I just got rid of them it would have been painful for a moment and then something else would take their place. I would then have to deal with that over and over again until I made an internal shift. Something would still need to be done somehow because of my desire for true independency. It is so uncomfortable to shake up a part of your life when you are so comfortable with how it is. It will just cost you true freedom if you keep it the same.
You won’t be able to expand the way that you want to within the confines of your comfort zone. How big is your comfort zone? I am not saying you have to run two thousand miles outside of it. Practice expanding it a little bit. My example seems minor because it manifests as a childhood item. Notice what you have attachment to because that is what really matters, no matter how big or small it may seem. Don’t forget that different manifestations have different consequences. Think about whatever vessel this comes through for you as and pay attention to how things could change if you released it or the relationship. How is this mentality, this energy, being reflected in the different areas of you life? How could you be more empowered if you let it go?
Whatever that thing is that you love so much, you don’t need it to protect you. I thought I needed my blankets to protect me from all of the uncertainty and hurt I was experiencing. I didn’t need any of that. I only needed my own Love and support. I acted for the longest time as if my baby blankets were my personal shield and armor. It was the space I created for myself, where the blankets just so happened to be, that was my protection.
You don’t need anyone or anything to protect you. You are safe to leave your comfort zone. You are able to stay rooted within yourself and expand. There is room for both. Allowing that thing, whatever it may be, to be your source of love and protection will leave you trapped, restricted, and small. There is enough Love within you for you to care for yourself.
As I mentioned, you don’t always have to get rid of whatever it is that you enjoy. Just shift your relationship with it in a way that allows who you really are to expand and shine through. However, if you do need to release the physical “thing”, go right ahead. You will know what feels genuine. Also, it doesn’t have to be a physical thing, it could be a mindset you need to leave behind. No matter what it is that you are attached to, you will feel if it is restricting your soul. If it is, you don’t need it. You will grow and be okay without it. Practice finding that safety within the confidence of who you are instead of what is outside of you.
Every time you come back to your previously known safe place, you are able to embrace it for what it is and not what it provided for you (the blanket analogy may fall apart here). You will be able to appreciate friendships, romantic relationships, family, community, physical things, nostalgic items, etc. for their true essence, because you don’t need them to be anything for you. If it is meant to be a part in your life, perhaps playing a different role, you will be able to see how far you come every time you greet it. Within the journeys you have in-between leaving and coming back, use it as a reminder of what you learned since you saw it last.
with love, katie
*Love/Higher Self/God/Source/Spirit/Creation/Consciousness/Unmanifested/The Eternal/Soul/Everything/Nothing/All That Is/Infinity/The Unknown/The Witness/Being/… you fill in the blank…