“Attachment is the source of all suffering “ – Buddha
Our ego grabs onto anything it can, looking for things to identify itself with. The more things it can attach itself too, the happier it becomes. Attachment is a survival mechanism developed in early infancy, designed originally to aid a baby with creating separation from its mother.
As we move through life, we develop emotional attachments with different things. We become attached to the monetary things we acquire. We become attached to certain relationships. We become attached to what we see in the mirror every morning (at least when we like what we are seeing). All these attachments provide our egos with a sense of identity.
When we lose these things, or they change in a way we don’t like, we experience suffering. Naturally, our ego wants to hold on to these things that it identifies itself with. When they are gone, it hurts. We feel loss. Our natural inclination is to then hold onto these things, creating an attachment. We may feel like our current lifestyle will never be as good as the one we lost.
For years I was attached to this self created concept of what I thought my life was supposed to look like. I felt pain for years, holding on tight to this mental attachment. Instead of embracing my current life, I looked backwards creating regret and anger.
To then deepen my pain, I then began to attach myself to things in the external world, looking to build a sense of identity – money, relationships, work, accomplishments…I looked everywhere for validation, but the very place I should’ve been looking. Inside.
Anytime too much of our identity gets tied up with external things, we are setting ourselves up for disaster. Self worth is an inside job. I learned this the hard way, but what a blessing this lesson was in retrospect.
Who’s to say losing your job might not be the best thing that ever happened to you? Or, you suffer a failed relationship that may actually open the door for you to meet someone even better! Attachments prevent us from growing and becoming the person God wants us to be.
All you can do is control your effort and attitude, you cannot control outcomes. Live free. Take a deep breathe and smile, your life is unfolding just as it’s supposed to.
Grab coffee or drinks with a great friend one night(or two). Turn off the phone and just laugh a lot. Celebrate the fact that, regardless of what happens next, life is going to work out just as it’s supposed to. Chill and enjoy the ride.
That’s all I got for this week (sometimes the creative juices just don’t flow!). Make it a great week!
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