Attachment

‘Loosen up. Let it go!’ fall_silhouette_2

How often have you heard that advice?

When you think about letting go of things, what exactly do you think about letting go of? 

When sages reminds us that we need to give up our attachment to the things of this world in order to open to spiritual or personal growth, I suspect that many of us think about material things, like people or objects you can actually touch.

I’m starting to discern that may not be what those sages mean.

I know there are a lot of things that I am attached to that are not material in nature. 

One thing I reckon we can agree on is that when you leave the planet you leave all your stuff – all the material things – behind. But there is another dimension of things that we are attached to that we may take with us, if we haven’t been able to let go of them. There are some things we can get very attached to that are not material – ideas and beliefs.

I can give up my Tissot watch but what about the idea of time? Can I allow for eternity or do I want to hold on to linear time with beginnings and endings?

I can give away my clothes but what about my body? Can I give up the belief that I am the body and allow for being something else?

I can give away all the books in my library but what about the story of my life? Can I give up the belief that my story defines me and allow for new experiences?

I can say I forgive you but can I let go of the hurt and pain I believe you have caused me to suffer? 

Can I allow for the unfolding of love in all circumstances or will I continue to insist that it all has to work out the way I want it to? Can I give up insisting that it’s the fulfilment of my ten year plan that’s all important and allow for God’s plan? Can I give up thinking I’m in control and allow for Life to live through me?

Can I let go of judging the form of the person or circumstance and choose to see the essence within the form in front of me? 

Our consumer society actually relies on the fact that it’s easy to let things go. The size of our rubbish problem is confirmation of that fact. How many smartphones have you owned? Where is the one you bought three years ago? We even have a name for people who can’t let their stuff go – hoarders. Extreme hoarding is regarded as a mental illness.

But how many of us are idea or belief hoarders?

How many of us have what are referred to as closed minds? You know – minds that are already made up and not open to anything new – despite the evidence. We have a term for people in that zone as well – fundamentalists. We usually apply that within a religious context but it can be applied within any context, including science.

I invite you to spend some time pondering the question: what am I attached to?

Feel free to share your thoughts.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter

General manager of the universe

This is a popular position we’re all busy filling; or so it seems.

As general manager of the universe you get to call the shots, arrange things to suit your agenda, and take the credit when things turn out. You also get to dish out the blame when things do not go according to plan.

It must be a pretty stressful job, going by all the angst and anxiety you can see on display wherever people are involved in relationships. I’m not just talking about personal relationships. Business relationships, employment relationships, political relationships, and international relationships are also part of the game. Need a few examples? Check out what’s going on in Syria or Washington. Look around your workplace. You get the picture. People acting and reacting to the notion that they should be in charge or control or calling the shots.

Just imagine what state the world could be in if governments or terrorists didn’t feel the need to interfere in the affairs of nations with different priorities or a different world view.

Lovers

Let’s move the focus a little closer to home, and consider all the relationships in your web of connections. I chose the word ‘web’ deliberately. Picture yourself as a spider in the centre of a web of fine strands, linking you to everyone and everything in your life. Yes, we have relationships with things. All those things we attach the possessive adjective ‘my’ to: my car, my house, my job, my business, my iphone. Some of us extend this same sense of possessiveness to my wife, my husband, my child, as if we owned people the same way we own cars and books.

Like the spider we try to control the web. We’re the one doing the spinning, keeping the strands both tight and sticky so that no-one, and no thing, escapes from our control or influence. Think of all that energy you invest in having your lover, your children – even when those children are now adults themselves, your family, your workmates, your friends, and the world in general, behave according to your grand plan. Exhausting isn’t it?

Just image what state your life could be in if you could stop interfering in the lives of others.

You can do that you know. All you have to do is resign from being the general manager of the universe. Fortunately, it’s not actually your job. It’s God’s universe, so let him enjoy all the stress of running it.

I invite you to step back into your life, and to let others step into their lives. You might find that giving up running the world, or at least other people’s lives, is energising – you‘ll get to use your energy on living your life. It’s a lot less stressful as well.

Sure, people will make choices and do things you don’t agree with. That’s OK. Just in case you haven’t noticed, you make choices and do things other people don’t agree with. It’s only a problem if you believe that you have to please others or that they have to please you. That’s a belief you can afford to let go.

Garden seat

Sit back and relax. God’s taking care of things.

Peter