practicing non-attachment when it’s unnatural

the first time I heard the term non-attachment was last year from my sister and ever since, it’s been something I think about often. If you delve into its beginnings you’ll find its roots in Buddhism and other eastern religions. But it even reminds me of Philippians 4:12-13 where Paul says he has learned the secret to being content in every situation. The sentiment is to not be so attached to the outcome of situations, people or things, allowing them to come and go without causing you distress.

[this is not to be mistaken with cutting people off for no reason or being emotionless.]

i’ve struggled with abandonment issues for most of my life.

it’s caused me to stay in situations way longer than I should have and really fight to keep things and people that were no longer serving me. This stemmed from my parents divorce and my dads physical departure from our household. And also the lack of a deep emotional connection with both of my parents in a way that you’d typically think of parent to child relationships. My sister and I truly raised each other and ourselves. And I do not place blame on either of my parents for this, or have any resentment. They were growing up and dealing with their own things. But I had to mention this because it’s what inspired me to write this. Non-attachment is as unnatural to me as it would be for me to suddenly grow a tail. Everything in me wants people to stay and things to remain and situations to go how I plan them. And I have to really work to practice non-attachment. Maybe your upbringing has also caused you to have some of these same issues. I believe that acknowledging that is the first step to being able to grow + heal.

a few months ago one of my best friends was talking about her previous mentality about men and said, “they come and they go!” This was so foreign to me. I mean, I’ve only had two relationships between the ages of 15-29 because they both lasted most of those years. So when she said that I was like wow! I wish I had let people leave when they wanted to instead of fighting so hard to hold on simply because in my mind to have was better than to have not. I adopted that as my phrase for the year and every time something or someone doesn’t workout I just say “they come and they go!” Even if at my core I’m still having trouble accepting it in the moment, I like to acknowledge that this is the truth, because it is ! This, my friends, is non-attachment.

I like to think that by not holding onto things that aren’t meant to stay we are always leaving room for what’s meant to be. By focusing on the present, and letting go of the past, we can be open to what the future truly has in store for us. And though it may be different from what we expected things to look like, it is all still beautiful.

what are you holding onto that is no longer serving you? People, jobs, material possessions? If you are reading this, now is the time to for us to [release + let go.]

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