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Let Go of The Outcome

“The root of suffering is attachment.” – Buddha

I resonate with the above quote.
When I cling to people, places, material possessions, status, you name it, whenever the target of my clinging is threatened – I experience emotional pain – a.k.a “suffering.”

Sometimes that emotional pain is also linked to physical responses in my body. My heart beats fast, my stomach sinks, I feel nauseous, my temperature rises, I cry, I curl into a little ball in a stew of emotions.

I experience this roller coaster of symptoms when I lose.
When I lose that which I have become attached to.
Sometimes it even happens when I imagine loss. Or perceive loss.

The guy I have been dating is showing up online on a dating site.
So what does my heart do?
It tightens.
What does my mind do?
It races.

“Oh. I guess he’s still searching. I guess I haven’t made a big enough impression to get him to stop seeking. I guess he’s not that into me. I guess I’m not enough for him. Maybe he’ll meet someone else he’ll find more interesting and move on happily while I’ll be back to square one.”

Attachment. Fear based thoughts.

But what if I let go of the outcome? What if I pull back and re-frame my response?

Truth is – nothing belongs to me. Nothing is mine. I simply get to share temporary experiences in a fleeting, changing environment that I do not and cannot possess. Yet in an attempt to hold on, to keep for longer, to experience more of – I attach.

I say, “I want you.”
I say, “Be mine.”
I say, “Don’t leave.”
I say, “I don’t want to let go.”
I say “I don’t want to say good bye.”

And when I do this, I hurt. Because I am trying to hold onto what time is literally ripping out of my tiny little hands.

see-them-floundering

So then what is the way to relieve this?

Non-attachment. Letting go. Release the hold.

No attachment to the outcome.
No fear of letting go.
Pure surrender.

Does that mean that I don’t love? That I don’t care? That I don’t experience fully? No. Quite the opposite.

Every moment becomes extremely meaningful, because every moment is unique, special, fleeting, and forever elusive.

Through non-attachment every moment becomes lighter because it can pass through you without getting stuck. It can just come and go and there is no fighting to keep it, no fighting to get more of it, no fighting for its return. Everything can just be.

It can come and it can go.

And when it comes – what a joy to have it.
When it goes [breathes out]  what a joy to see it go.

This is true freedom.

*image credit to realbuddhaquotes.com

Breathe. Be Here. Be Present.

I think a lot. A lot.

I realize that most of my thinking hinders my ability to simply experience the beauty of the present moment. The sounds. The smells. The colors. The joy of being part of the eternal now.

My thoughts give rise to my emotions, which gives rise to more thoughts, and circles endlessly.
When I interrupt my thinking mind I feel peaceful. I don’t project myself into the future or wallow in my past or my fears.
Letting the thoughts just play like a song on a radio allows me to be the observer of the thoughts without identifying or giving them more energy to persist.

When I let my thoughts carry me away like the mighty waves of an ocean, I lose myself in my mind. I drown. I start to believe my limiting thoughts are my reality. I play and replay scenarios in my head. I remember the past. I rehearse for the future. I replay all my fears. I analyze. Overthink. I beat an idea down over and over until I am overwhelmed and uneasy.

Then I remember  I have a choice. I can either live in my head or live in the moment. Do I live in the mental stories or do I actually live? The stories make me feel good or make me feel bad, or something in between. The stories do not provide lasting peace as they are always changing, analyzing, criticizing, judging.

Regret. Fear. Anxiety. Love. Nostalgia. Guilt. Shame. Sadness. Pride. Creativity. My myriad of emotions. It’s all tossed in my head like a salad.

Then I chose to take a seat. I just sit there and watch the thoughts. I watch them until they are done rising and sinking. I let them ride but I don’t join. I actively interrupt the thoughts by commanding myself to “Be here. Be present.” I take deep breaths and focus on the feeling of the air filling my lungs and then releasing.

In…
Out…
In…
Out…
Be here.
Be present.
In…
Out…
In…
Out…
Be here.
Be present.

My mind becomes quiet. I am brought back to the present moment where everything is ok. The colors penetrate my eyes. The smells dance in my nostrils. The sounds tickle my ears. The air makes sweet love to my lungs. I am well. I am here. I am not identified with the stories in my head. I am not my memories. I am not projecting myself into the future. I am not trying to control. I am not trying to do more, be more, have more to prove some point to myself or the world. I just am. I just am this living being who is settled in peace, inner stillness and soothing joy.

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