Pupil: My daughter is one of my biggest props. There is no way I can think of being nonattached to her, but when I am not in my ego I realise I should be a better mother.

Abdullah: The trouble is that you are not using the real emotions in this situation. Certainly you have been attached to your daughter, and it is correct for a mother to be attached, but one day you will have to learn to become nonattached to her. Most people mistakenly think this means ceasing to love, but in fact you then love in a better way, without desire. In a mother's ordinary love for her child there is often a sense of possession, but with nonattachment the love is on a much higher scale. At the beginning, when trying to change your attitude, you can only use your intellect. The intellect will tell you it is stupid to be so identified with your daughter, you will see it is unfair to use her as a prop, and gradually many other aspects of the situation will be clear to you.

Pupil: But I am not adult enough to do this properly.

Abdullah: At least you are trying. Use the intellect by saying to yourself 'Instead of treating her as my equal I am going to treat her as my daughter.' This may be very difficult. Because you are divorced from your husband, you want her as a companion, but making her a companion deprives her of a mother, and if you can see this it will be a big shock. Everything has to have its proper season and place. By instinct your daughter would want to fall into the role of daughter.

Pupil: I have tried to play the mother role in a surface way but I can see there is not much underneath.

Abdullah: You have to keep trying. If you keep telling yourself a good aim and returning to that aim, then you achieve the aim, because you get help from elsewhere. At the beginning role-playing may be quite artificial, but in time, with practice, it will become real.

Pupil: This situation seems hard on the child.

Abdullah: A child is resilient and understands within its own framework many things which parents may think are beyond its understanding. The child could not give an intellectual explanation, but would understand through vibration, without any comprehension at all in the ordinary brain.

Pupil: How could a woman begin to be nonattached to her children?

Abdullah: Nonattachment is extremely difficult and nonidentification is beyond most people. We have indicated that you should have the aim to be nonattached, but it takes many years of struggle to achieve. At the beginning you have to learn to serve in ordinary relationships between children, husband and wife, to do what you think is good for others, not what will make them think you are nice. You try to love your children objectively, for their spiritual qualities, what they are inside themselves, and not for their outer manifestations. You have to be in such a state that you are seeing them as God, not as little Johnny. This is a very big thing to be able to do, but you can experience it to a degree, have tastes of it. If you are nonattached, you love in a much better way – this sounds crazy, but if you experience it you will know the truth of it. When you are objective to a child, he is no longer your possession, because you and he are also God.

If you are going to be objective, you cannot be partisan. You cannot say this is my son or my daughter – that is ridiculous. You may bring them into this life and look after them, but they are not yours. No child belongs to us. Everything belongs to God.