Attachments. Think you don’t have many? Think you travel light, psychologically speaking? We all have attachments, more than we’d care to admit. But what if you let them all go? Your ideas about who you are, about what your life is like, about how you come across to others. Your perceptions of what happiness is, of what success is, of where you fall on that scale. What if you detached yourself from all those things, and just let them go?
The stories you tell yourself and others about who you are, the wrongs you’ve suffered, the victories you snatched from the jaws of defeat. Let go of your attachment to those definitions of yourself. Your ideas about what kind of worker you are, what kind of spouse you are, what kind of parent you are.
The attachments you have to your political stance, your religious beliefs, your preferred lifestyle – let them all go. The ideas you have about which foods taste best, which sports team deserves your loyalty, and whether you’re a leader or a follower. Your opinions about how the health care system should be run, how the educational system should be run, how the country should be run. Let go of your attachment to those things, too.
And the past that continues to shape your beliefs about yourself – it’s there, you’re attached to it. The parent who wasn’t there, or the parent who smothered you. The person who first broke your heart, or the one who first betrayed your trust. The teacher who helped you graduate, or the one who told you you’d never succeed. The car you had, the college you went to, your academic major. They’re all ideas you attach to yourself. Let them go.
That working out would make you more attractive, that money would fix all your problems, that you are lucky or unlucky. That your boss has a secret crush on you, that you can define your life in terms of success or failure, that seeing a therapist means you’re weak. That other people probably think you’re fat. That your parents would have preferred it if you had gone to medical school. That certain colors of clothing do or don’t complement your skin tone. You’re attached to all these ideas. Let them go.
That this year is the worst year ever. That for maximum compatibility, you need to hook up with an Virgo or an Aquarius. That you’re getting too old to wear pink. That traveling would make you happy. That everything will be okay as long as you still have money in your bank account. That you prefer red wine to white. That you’re a cat person rather than a dog person. These ideas are all attachments. Let them all go.
That true love is the answer. That things are changing, or that they never really change. That your friends are more successful than you. That they’re less successful. That you surround yourself with good people. That everyone around you seems to be getting injured or sick. That the financial crisis is finally looking up. Like it or not, you are attached to your ideas about all these things. Just let them go.
And then when you get the idea that you have truly let go of everything… let that go, too. Let it all go, and see who you are underneath. When you find that core of your being, when you see who you really are – let that go! Letting attachments die is a continual process. When you feel you’ve got the hang of it, guess what? Let that idea go, too.
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