You have the attachments of your life: your job, your family, your living arrangement, your town, your lifestyle. Then there are the more internal, personal attachments: your opinions about things, your ideas about how others perceive you, your beliefs, your values. How much would it take for you to let them go? Try it for a moment, just watched all these pre-conceived notions fade away as you let go of your attachments to Who You Are.
This includes your attachment to your past. Let go of your childhood stories, your ideas about whether your family was normal or not. Let go of your academic record, what your teachers said about you, what kind of kid you think you were. Let go of your first job, your first date, your first road trip. Release yourself from your attachment to all these things you have used to try to define yourself.
And of course, there’s attachment to your ideas about the present. That things are going well, or that they’ve never been worse. That you’re a success or a failure, or that there’s even any way to measure that. That you drive an appropriate car for someone of your income level, but you could stand to lose a few pounds. That you hate your job. That you want to move to a new place. That you should start cutting down on caffeine. Let go of your attachment to all these ideas about how things are, about how things should be.
Now look at your attachment to your personality. The kind of friend you are, the kind of worker you are, the kind of lover you are. The idea that you’re funny, or serious, or eccentric. That you’re more intelligent than most people, that you have a purpose. That you get bored easily, that you learn new things easily. That you give good advice, that people trust you or don’t trust you. That you’re a dog person, that you’re an introvert, that you love to go dancing. All your attachments to these ideas… let them go.
You’re also attached to your ideas about the world around you. That big corporations are dangerous, that your political party is better than the other one, that your religious belief is probably the right one. That nice guys finish last, that kids aren’t getting as good an education as they did in your day, that everything is different now, or that nothing ever changes. You’re attached to your ideas, you can admit it… and now let that attachment go.
Then there are your attachments to the future. The idea that your soulmate is out there, or that it matters whether or not a soulmate is even a real thing. That if you would have given in and had sex with that certain person, they might have stuck around and you might have been married by now. That you’ll have two kids, or six kids, or adopt kids, or not have any kids. That God will look out for you when so many others around you are suffering. That it doesn’t matter what you do because the world will soon end from global warming or terrorism anyway. That everything will be fine if you can just finish your degree, or get that promotion, or relocate to your dream city. The very idea that there is a dream city, a place where everything will be better than it is where you are now. Just let it all go, all your attachments to these ideas.
So now that you’ve let it all go, what are you left with? Who are you underneath all the attachments? Great – now let that go, too! Soon you may find that letting go is the best thing you ever did… then let go of that idea, as well.
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