November 26th 2017
I see the value in non-attachment now.
The original post I wanted to put up today was going to be about my favorite yearly tradition, Black Friday. Well, without going into an aggressive amount of detail, I had an extremely traumatic experience prior to Black Friday shopping, bought absolutely nothing, therefore leaving the post without any true content. On top of that, the traumatic experience cost me a friend and my desire to continue the tradition as a whole.
So today, I thought it was finally time to dig the topic of non-attachment and letting go out of hiding in my list of ideas and give it a little attention. Letting go. Letting go is tough and not being attached to outcomes is even tougher. I am a planner. I am the kind of person who plans my future with the people of my present without a single thought that those same people may not be around for me one day.
This has led me to disappointments in the past, but I have never felt as disappointed as I do now. What does one do when a person they thought they would always have, does one single thing to shatter years of trust and memories? How does one recover and let go and remain unattached to whatever arises as a result? Well, I’m still learning that but I am going to share my little list of helpful methods in order to help anyone else out there going through something similar.
- Realize that the most important person in your life is you- It kills me to walk away from someone who has been a major part of my life for so long, but I have to for me. At the end of the day, I am the one person I can rely on and if I am not doing good by me, I’m not doing good by anybody.
- We live in a world filled with thousands of places to go and billions of people to meet- I try to remind myself that I am never trapped. I have full freedom to make my life whatever I want it to be, even if I feel like I am completely lost at the moment.
- Don’t let other’s ability to let go influence yours- In my current situation, not everyone will let go in the way I will. If they choose not to let go and move on, I should not feel obligation do things I do not want to do in return. Everyone handles situations differently and we cannot expect others to react and move forward in the same way we would.
Picture this like Black Friday (I told myself I would include Black Friday in this post somewhere and I am determined to make it work). You are at Target and you see this huge flat screen TV that you know your whole family would adore and it is at a reasonable discount. You and another person eye the last TV in the store at the same time and dash to it. You start having a tug-of-war match over a flat screen TV then you realize you have two choices. One choice would be to tug and tug until the other person gave up, even if it meant physically and emotionally exhausting yourself. Or two, walk away, realize there are other TVs in the world that wouldn’t cause you nearly as much energy drain.
I feel like I used to be the type of person who held onto situations and people like they were a $60 flat screen TV at Target and cost myself a lot of physical and emotional stress. I realized this kind of stress was not worth it because, as I mentioned before, my needs are most important and I have a world of options in my life and one fewer option isn’t going to destroy me.
Back to the Black Friday example. Why would you hold so tight to the TV in the first place? Why not immediately let go? There are other TVs, right? What is so special about this particular one? You found this one with your friends and family in mind. That makes things so much harder to let go of.
You want to quit your job but you’re afraid of what your family will think or how all your coworkers you’ve developed friendships with will react. You stay in a relationship because your significant other’s family loves you and you are afraid of disappointing them. Or my current struggle, you get nervous about leaving a friendship that is this long term because you are afraid of losing the mutual friends and normalcy that the whole friendship has presented you with in your life.
Well, here is the truth. The job, the relationship, the friend, the TV all don’t matter and true friends and important figures in your life will support you even if you walk away from the $60 flat screen. Sometimes, decisions need to made for you and you alone.
So I think that is my secret for letting go; realizing that your needs matter most. And in terms of not being attached to outcomes, it is super hard. But just remember, if you carry too much emotional baggage, it is only going to weigh you down. Travel light and keep your chin up.
This wasn’t the Black Friday post I was intending, but it was something that needed to be said. Here’s to a brighter future and moving forward with a smile on my face. I am back and ready to work even harder to get to where I am meant to be.