Most of our struggles come from our attachment to things, people, situations and many other things. The problem is we become dependent on those things in order to survive, putting ourselves in a place of extreme vulnerability. In the case that we lose what we are attached to, a life of distress and struggle is inevitable. Therefore, to avoid so much suffering, we must detach ourselves from everything that we can lose, and free ourselves from any attachment.
Living attached to places, things, people, jobs, situations, and any other thing is the key to a life of struggle. I know, it sounds pretty extreme, but the truth is, the more attached we are, the more we suffer, because the more attached we are, the more we fear, and the more we fear, the more we suffer. We depend so much in something, that the merely idea of losing it tears our heart apart. The problem is when our happiness lasts as long as the things we are attached to do not change, do not transform in something else, or cease to exist.
Every attachment limits us, submits us, controls us, and completely dominates us. It limits us because it doesn’t let us be completely ourselves, because sometimes being ourselves would mean the inevitable loss of that we are attached to, submits us because it makes us do certain things in order to avoid losing it, it controls us because it makes us behave in a special way, and dominates us because all our existence depends on the lasting of the things we are attached to.
“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” – Dalai Lama
Does that mean that we can’t have any kind of feelings? Can’t we love, or be passionate about something, or like something very much? How can we be happy if we can’t just simply be humans? Well, that’s the thing, we are humans, we feel, and that is the beauty to be alive. Having all those wonderful emotions makes us feel alive, and gives meaning to our lives. The problem starts when we become dependents of relationships, material goods, jobs, places, outcomes or situation in order to keep feeling the way we feel.
Therefore, it is not feeling in a special way about someone or something the problem, because the problem is when our happiness depends on that. If the lack of something or someone or if the change of something in our lives creates suffering in us, then is our attachment what is truly bringing us sorrow, it is not love, or the passion we have about something, but is our dependence, our attachment . There is something worth remembering and that is the difference between attachment and a connection where an attachment creates in us the fear of losing something, while a connection gives and receives at the same time, feeding your soul.
“Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!” – Steve Maraboli
So what to do then? Free yourself from any attachment. Don’t limit yourself thinking that you can’t have a life, that you can’t be happy or successful if you don’t posses a certain thing, if you are not with a special person, if you are not doing a special thing, or if you not live in a certain place. If you have come to the place you are now, it is not because of someone or something, it’s because of you. You are the creator of your own life, therefore, if there is someone you need to depend on, it’s yourself. Without you, there is nothing, so don’t seek somewhere else what you have to seek within yourself.
A connection, a special bond between you and what you like and love is inevitable, it is not avoiding that connection what we should seek to achieve, but not depending on it to survive. We should not let our attachment confuse us, believing that we need someone or something in order to be happy, having the idea that those things, that job, that place, that situation or relationship is the determining factor of our happiness. A job, a career, a place, any material thing, a person, or a special situation can bring us joy and happiness, but those feelings should never be conditioned for the lack of those things.
“Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” – Ali ibn abi Talib
There is nothing greater thing than being free, and the freedom that we obtain by letting go of attachment is something that truly benefits us. So the key is not in being cold, without feelings, but learning to love, without needing anything in return, being free to be whoever you want, and do whatever you want without being limited from any attachment. The most important thing is living in the moment, whatever happened in the past cannot be changed, whatever will happen in the future didn’t happen yet, so why ruining your life by being attached to a past that is gone or to a future that hasn’t arrived yet? Life changes all the time, knowing that nothing is permanent, living in the moment, and cutting the ropes to any attachment is the key for a happy life.
Give to your passions, give to every people, and give to everything you want the power of your love, but do not give them the power to destroy you! Learn to let go of attachment, and give yourself the gift of living a happy life!