A friend and I were discussing relationships over lunch today and the concept of attachment came up.
I feel so blessed, I really do! I’ve come a long way in terms of self-development and yet I still come up against those niggly, self-limiting thoughts. I’m glad to say that these days they only put me ‘on pause’ rather than hold me back.
It’s a sobering thought to know that all things in my life are subject to change – they are impermanent (including life itself!) eek! The present moment and the people in my life now are so so precious!
This too will pass!
What is attachment?
Basically it is our craving and desires, which cause us suffering when we become a slave to them.
Wikipedia Definition: It is an important Buddhist concept referring to “attachment, clinging, grasping”. It is considered to be the result of taṇhā (craving), and is part of the dukkha (suffering, pain) doctrine in Buddhism.
Psychology Today UK Definition: The emotional bond that typically forms between infant and caregiver is the means by which the helpless infant gets primary needs met. It then becomes an engine of subsequent social, emotional, and cognitive development. The attachment experience can have an influence on the ability to form additional stable relationships.
I can recognise the things I’ve been attached to over the years; food, money, unhealthy relationships, self-criticism and negative thinking. Some had become so automatic that I didn’t even know it. I couldn’t accurately pinpoint my un-rest.
Simply by becoming more conscious and mindful about my behaviour and the originating thoughts that led to that behaviour, I have improved many areas of my life.
Yes – it’s a constant work in progress and to be honest, if there’s a chocolate bar handy that will always get my attention. 🙂
So, my friend and I concluded that ‘self mastery’, by whatever method resonates for the individual, is the key to a happy and fulfilling life.
Respecting ourselves and the freedom of others to make their own life choices can indeed loosen the addictive grip. Connecting with our inner wisdom and acting on those insights can reduce the unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Lightbulb moment: rather than ‘hold on’ we choose to ‘let go’ and trust the process of life.
Useful resource: Pema Chodron – Relaxing with impermanence