Weight Weight Just Love Me – Awkward Attachments – Day 22

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

Learning how to love myself more means I'm no longer the "teet" to the world.

Learning how to love myself more means I’m no longer the “teet” to the world.

I’ve been contemplating my responsibility with other people’s attachments.  The easy answer is of course I’m not responsible for other people’s attachments.  But is this my current reality?  I find there are and have been a number of people who act like I’m not only responsible, but also accountable for their attachments in association with me.  For example, my doctor’s apparent disappointment and admonishing lectures in my lack of ability to lose weight.  The doctor has an attachment to a specific outcome with me based on their beliefs.  What is it about me where I feel I need to be responsible for (or at least placate) my doctor’s attachments to what I’m supposed to weigh – especially when I’m not there to see them about what I weigh?  I don’t recall that being on any of their forms – is this something new with HIPAA compliance?

My dietitian on the other hand has a different approach.  She explains we are working towards better health as measured by your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.  As healthy levels in all those means health – not what it says on the scale.  What I enjoy about working with her is the acceptance of who I am just the way I am and I define what is better for me.  Then she helps me pursue this in ways that will work for me.  She holds no attachment even to my own self defined  goals.  She is just there to help me discover ways of achieving the goals I set for myself.

While some folks inspire me to engage,  others motivate me to run far in the opposite direction (like the difference between my dietitian and my doctor).  I’m a compassionate and empathic person and at times I tend to feel the need to help people in whatever way they need.  (Pema Chodren calls this “idiot compassion.”)  From time to time I catch myself in this idiocy – feeling too responsible and even accountable for another person’s attachment  to me.  Once I recognize it,  I move into strategizing how to extricate myself from their suffocating need.  (Those closest to me call it “getting ‘so and so’ off the tit.”)

So this isn’t just about getting the guts to avoid doctors who have a fat bias.  In general I can be too accommodating to others’ awkward attachment needs in exchange for some type approval – love and acceptance fits in here too.  I have a feeling this is tied into unconscious programming from my Catholic upbringing, guilt, martyrdom, etc.  I find myself more attracted now though to the Pema Chodren mode of contemplation – so yes, Pema Chodren, idiot compassion.  And as I learned long ago, I can stop being stupid whenever I’d like.

On the other hand, I do know and have experienced that healthy and secure attachments form when I know where and how I can count on others and vice versa  I do form implied and/or explicit contracts with significant people in my life to engage with them as we have agreed.  These types of relationships also change over time as our respective needs evolve – the more allowances for these changes, the better things typically go.  The less allowances, the more awkward things usually become. Creating secure attachments and not owning others’ awkward and inappropriate attachments is my new mojo.  Loving myself more means I’m getting my boobs back.

P.S. Since this has posted, I’ve heard from several people inquiring if this was about them.  Well yes it is about you – as you form the basis of my secure attachments so THANK YOU.   And you also know what I’m talking about with my tendency to be the teet to the world – which is not a reflection of how I am in my secure attachments and healthy relationships.    Actually those getting in touch with me have been some of the folks bringing this to my attention over the years.


Kate’s commentI wanted to reflect on your P.S. bit – about people asking if this post was about them. What made them want to reach out after reading your post? I think we can look to Burke’s theory of Dramatism, specifically to do with guilt. Burke stated that all human action, specifically communication, is driven by guilt. Burke’s definition of guilt is different than mine (I think guilt is a feeling resulting from an action I regret doing) – he says that guilt is any unpleasant feelings that humans experience.

So, I think your post made some people squirm in their seats. I think this is great – productive conflict promotes positive change and influence. Keep it going. Keep making people uncomfortable and driving that conversation.

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