“As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery… we have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.” ~ Dalai Lama
We get so attached to everything we have and everything we do. We get attached to our ideas, our way of doing things, to places, to things and the many people present in our lives, not knowing that all of our attachments will only bring us anguish, sorrow and suffering.
Many of us can’t seem to grasp this idea of non-attachment. Years ago I couldn’t understand it either, but as time went by and as I started to ponder upon this idea and as I started to practice it, I got better at it. I am not saying I am at the level where I can have things, where I can move from one place to another, where I can leave or be left by those I love without feeling sad. I really believe it takes time and practice to get there, but I am definitely way better at it than I was years ago.
It will be so much easier if we could appreciate what we have, if we could appreciate our friends, our family, if we could love all of them without being attached to them. I know it might sound crazy, insane, you name it, but think about it for a second, nothing in this world lasts forever… The people you love, they will leave you one day; the career you now have, one day it will be gone; the house you live in, one day will no longer be yours; the body you have, your beauty, your youth, they will all be gone eventually, and if that’s the case, why continue to pretend as if you are going to inherit the planet?
“Can you step back from you own mind and thus understand all things? Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue.” ~ Lao Tzu
You see, most of us want to have many friends, to be loved, have beautiful things, the more expensive the better, to travel to beautiful places, live in big and beautiful houses etc., and I can tell you that I want most of these things as well, I want them all, but this isn’t the problem. The problem is that most of us get so attached to all of these things, all of these people, all of these places, and once we lose them, and one day we will all go through this, we will be heart broken, devastated, and the pain will be so hard to bear. For me, this is a very dangerous approach to life.
Unfortunately, there are are people who aren’t that strong, people who can’t deal with all the pain that comes from losing these things, and they might end up losing their minds, while others, may even end up taking their lives. Isn’t this a tragedy?
This is why we need to understand that nothing lasts forever, that people come and go, that things come and go, and that there are days when we have more, while other when we have less. Some days we might be healthy while other days we might be sick. Some days we might be safe and some days we might be in danger. It goes on, and on, and on. We can’t identify ourselves with this world, with what we have and what we don’t have, with what we do and what we don’t do, we can;t identify ourselves with our minds, with what we know, because, when we will be without those things, when we will no longer do the things we used to do, have the looks we used to have etc. , we will feel lost, abandoned and empty.
If we are what we do then when we don’t we aren’t right? Don’t you think it’s crazy? What does this even mean? That when we are born, we are nothing, nobody and as we go along, as we grow older and as we are being shaped by our family, school and society, we start becoming something and somebody? Does this make any sense to you?
Isn’t it interesting how some of us are considered more valuable just because we were born in a certain part of the world, while others not so valuable? Isn’t it interesting how some of us are seen as being more valuable because of our skin color and the language we speak? The clothes we wear, the friends we have, the schools we go to, the parents we have etc. ? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we put labels on people, things, places, ideas? I guide my life based on the idea that, the way you treat others will determine how others will treat you, and the way you treat life will determine how life will treat you and I try to empathize with others and I try to help as much as I can, whenever I can. I try to keep my mind open and allow new people, new ideas to enter my life, for I believe that they are all teachers of mine.
If a person is wiping floors for a living while you are the owner of that building, that does not give you the right to be disrespectful with that person. That does not make him a less of a person. You might think it does, but that’s not true. If it were to put you both in a room, naked, no clothes on, who will even know the difference between the rich and the poor, between the special and not so special?
I don’t believe, I KNOW, that we are all born equal, we are all one, and because we think otherwise, we live the life we live, in the world that we live. We can’t say that we live in a harmonious world. How can that even be possible, when we are constantly racing with one another? We are always trying to be better than everybody else, we are always trying to make more money, have bigger houses, bigger cars, expansive things, so that we can differentiate ourselves from the not so special ones. More, more, more!
I know people who are so identified with what they do, the places they live in, the clothes they wear, the money they have, that they lost all of their humanity, they lost track of who they really are. This kind of people have won the world but lost their souls. They think that money, power, fame and fortune is all that life is about, always looking to gain more, to be better than everybody, to be number one etc. , but how many of them are really content with the life they have?
I guess you have all heard the stories of those wealthy people who lost their fortunes, and because of that, they decided to put an end to their lives. This is what happens when you only live for accumulating more, and more, and more, and this is what happens when you identify yourself with all of them. Where is the peace in that? These people will never be content no matter how much they accumulate for they will always look to those who have more than they have and they will feel that they don’t have enough… living with the fear of losing it all.
I personally am working on being content with who I am at the moment, with what I do and what I have, and I will express my gratitude for everything that I have achieved so far, for the wonderful people that are present in my life and for the wonderful people that keep on showing up, for the wonderful person I have become, and I will try to love myself, I will try to love the people who are present and not so present in my life, and I will work on giving up on my attachments to them, because I now understand that this is for my own good.
“Things arise and she lets them come; things disappear and she lets them go. She has but doesn’t possess, acts but doesn’t expect.” ~ Lao Tzu
Now, it is up to you to decide whatever you think it’s best for you.