“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” ~Albert Einstein
In the Buddhist tradition the word attachment is used quite frequently. It seems they are very attached to that word. What would they do without the word attachment? I challenge all Buddhists to give up the word attachment for a week. No, no, no, of course not. No one is attached to the word. They could easily use another word. But, if they are attached to being Buddhist, if that is an identiy in which they take pride and in which their self worth rests then they may have formed an attachment. If ever anyone feels superior to another because of their spirituality or religion then they are attached. They use their spirituality or religion as an identity form. I am Catholic and therefore I am superior. I will go to heaven and others(who are inferior and blind to the truth) will go to hell. I am a born again Christian and I live a pure and righteous life. I will go to heaven and the Catholics will go to hell. I am an Atheist and I have a superior intellect and do not need religion to validate my existence. I am quite a genius and I’m not going anywhere.
We can become attached to so many things in the world. To ideas, to thoughts, places, and times. Of course we are attached. It would be unnatural not to be attached, wouldn’t it? It really is all about the meaning of the word and how it is used.
Being attached is quite common. You broke my beautiful crystal bowl! I am now in pain. You cut my hair the wrong way! I am now in pain. You dented my new car! I am now in pain. I don’t look like I did when I was twenty-five! I am now in pain. My child is not the most popular! I am now in pain. I don’t make as much money as you! I am now in pain. I am not thin! I am now in pain. The cake I baked tastes awful! I am now in pain. The party I gave was boring! I am now in pain. I’ll never be an artist! I am now in pain. I said something inappropriate! I am now in pain.
Attachments like these cause so much suffering. Sooo much. Crystal bowls break, hair grows, cars rust, people age, everyone embarrasses themselves at one point or another. Attachment is when a thing, belief, or identity owns you. Non-attachment comes from seeing all but the Collective Consciousness as temporary. Attachments not only cause suffering, they prevent us from trying to pursue our dreams. We become so attached to our expectations that we are afraid to even attempt our dream. If it doesn’t turn out exactly as we want then we will suffer. Our fear of suffering causes us to suffer! If we don’t pursue our dreams because we are attached to the outcome, because we fear failure, then we will live in constant suffering. If we pursue our dreams and fail we will suffer. But, we can overcome the fear and try again, we can decide not to become attached to the outcome and push forward knowing that we are living our dream. What can be worse than inertia? Inertia breeds despair. Pursuing your dream breeds hope and enthusiasm.
Attachment to outcomes is generally not desirable. I am not saying that nothing matters. You can enjoy life very fully and completely by not being attached to outcomes. It leaves you free to relax. It leaves you free to enjoy without fear of suffering. It leaves you free to enjoy the journey. You can still play to win without being sorely dissappointed if you don’t win. Let’s look at a big play off game. One team loses. One of the players on the losing team speaks with the sports announcer and congratulates the other team, he is smiling and looking forward to his time off. Another team member steps up and chastises his team for not playing well enough. He is extremely dissappointed and angry. He cannot wait until next year and for the next few months he lives in his head thinking about what went wrong and dreaming of future wins. He misses out on being in the present moment with his family and friends. His expectations have turned his dream into a nightmare of suffering. One can do their very best and still lose. They can give it all they have, especially if they are adept at living in the present, and still fail. It makes no sense to suffer over a loss. It makes no sense to give up on trying, either. Move on. Live for the moment and try again without suffering. Do your best and be happy no matter what the outcome. The smartest people live their lives this way. They know that suffering and worrying bring our energy down and they choose to function at their highest level of being.
Suffering and worrying about expectations only invites more of the same into our lives. It’s natural to feel the fear, but knowing this, move forward. Know that all results are good and lead us closer to our dreams. Have faith that the road we are on is directed by our intuiton. You are on the right path. Believe it. Walk it. Move. Do.
Being attached to outcome, no. Moving forward in enthusiasm, yes. Above all be present and enjoy the journey.
- My dreams are realized.
- I move forward courageously knowing all results bring me closer to my dreams,
- I believe in divine order and know that my dreams will manifest when I am ready.
- I am ready and willing to accept the gifts of the universe.
- I deserve to live my dreams.
Imagine yourself doing what you love to do. See yourself happy and enthusiastic. Move forward.