Do you have attachments? Since Buddhism came to our lives or at least to our awareness many moons ago, the word attachment has come along for the ride. At first I listened to the guidance of their words on the subject, 'attachment is the root of our suffering', and then I scoffed at it, and then I revisited it…….then repeat, repeat. You too?
I pondered on it for ages because there are such good reasons to be attached; we learn from childhood to attach, but we don’t learn to detach. Perhaps that’s adolescence, but I think not, we may move away from our childhood but we don’t cut the ties.
When it is said that we have attachments - of course we do, I get that now – it often goes hand in hand with conversations on suffering and loss, but joy can come along for the ride too. Is that so wrong? Perhaps that is life, to grab hold of what is wonderful and joyful and to suffer when we have to let go or have it wrenched from our hands? I wouldn't be without any of them (in this lifetime anyway) because my life is so richly decorated by my sufferings.
I have experienced both attachment and addiction to a few things in my life. Not easy to go through, and yet we all have suffered similarly whether rich or poor, aware or not. When the one you have lived with, dreamed of and loved for so many years goes, to me it's not so much the attachment but it’s the addiction of him that I suffer from! It seems more like an addiction because of the uncontrollable desire to be with him that I felt... lessening now as time goes by. I guess it’s both, and that may seem like I am saying the same thing, but to me they are two different things.
While I have said many goodbyes, I know I Am not attached now, he flies on the wings of Angels, yet I also know I have been seriously addicted to my beloved and to the ‘old’ way of life. Like any addiction, it has taken enormous effort to resist pining and move into a new groove. I can cut the ties that bind me and let the strings fly away with him (ready 'to tie me up another time and in another place if our souls meet again', his words not mine), but addiction stays with me.
The addiction had me feeling like my life and I were without control, and I fought it with the question, how did I come to this? Addiction, does it ever go away? Perhaps not: You can live a wonderful life without the thing you so desperately want, desire or hunger for; you just need to stop and find, or realise what you have without it. I have stopped to smell the roses and it smells so good today.
And the attachment that had me tethered? Well I would not be without the experiences that wrapped me up and swaddled me in the most glorious of love, life and times, what a beautiful connection I had. Those experiences have not left me, I can still feel wrapped up and it is a glorious part of my day (dreams), and I can and do carry the dream into every conscious moment.
Do you feel addicted or attached to something that has long gone? There is no magic cure or pill to take as you would understand, and I know letting go of the things you (we) still crave can be hard to do, if that is what your daily focus is.
Yet, loving a thing or two each day will get you to a point of being able to sit still and find the roses of your life! You attach to that, and you may find that you become mindful of the beauty within you, and in your surroundings. Now that is a reason to relax and be glad.
Are you feeling lost in it all, addicted or attached? What have you been doing to help? Please share if you feel you can…..