“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?
What does my mind do?
“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.
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.
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