In a previous post, I mentioned that I love without attachments. Attachments are what people tend to anchor themselves with to the world; we claim things as our own and worry about them, but this only causes pain. How can we break free of this cycle?
Non-attachment is a term used most commonly in Buddhist and similar theologies, and it refers to the ability to let go of the desire for a specific outcome. Detachment in this sense does not mean to not love others, to completely lack desire for anything… it means to not hang onto a specific outcome that may or may not happen as the only thing that will make you happy at the end of the situation.
But if it’s your significant other spending more time with someone else and less with you, or your friend forgetting to call you back, or a parent not recovering from an illness, how can you remain positive?
I didn’t say it was an easy practice, at least not at first.
For example, my birthday is coming up this weekend. I didn’t plan anything for myself on the day of. In this instance, I have two choices. I can either A, expect that my friends and family will plan me a surprise party (or something along those lines) or B, simply let the weekend come and allow what happens to happen.
If they plan something for me, I can be excited. If not, I wasn’t expecting them to anyway. If I truly desire to get together with everyone, I can reach out to set up a time for a party, without being attached to how it will go or who will be able to show up. This saves me the feeling of being let down and forgotten. It also allows me the space to care about what’s happening today rather than later in the week.
Another reason to practice non-attachment is to distance yourself from a lack mentality. In the Western culture, it’s common to hear things such as, “I need those shoes and then I’ll be happy,” or “I need that big T.V. and then I’ll be happy.” This links back to the post on ego I wrote a while back.
When you always desire what you don’t have, or what may not happen, it doesn’t leave much room to enjoy what you currently DO have!
So, when you love unconditionally, you aren’t attaching a desired outcome or a stipulation for someone to retain your compassion. You are able to simply enjoy the person’s company and thrive in the moment where both of you are happy.