Many of us have become so attached to things that we simply can’t let go. It’s gotten to a critical point where we really feel we can’t do without them – these things. We start to associate stuff with security and happiness. Our life isn’t fulfilled until we are filled; with stuff. I even noticed my hesitation last night to clean my desktop computer of various pictures that I had used in previous posts. As if I might possibly be forever damaged by losing a picture of the Peanuts celebrating New Year. Oh, the pain… how could I ever replace that?
This inordinate attachment goes well beyond things that we intellectually know we can do without. We are also attached to people, thoughts, habits, and even ourselves. These attachments are difficult to let go of because they have become habitual. So, it takes consistent practice to form new habits to replace the old and foster an attitude of detachment. It takes a major shift from living in fear to living in faith.
When someone treats us unfairly, how do we react? If we detach from the person, we are at peace. We can separate the person from the action and simply choose not to react. We may even say “you might be right”. We realize that their behavior is not our fault and doesn’t control us or force us to act any differently than we want to. illegitimi non carborundum! It cannot ruin our day unless we chose to let it.
What about ourselves? Do we take ourselves so seriously that we might be in day long funk because we messed up during a speech or gave someone the best advice we could that later turned out to be inadequate? Yes, we must even detach from ourselves in a way. We are creatures and are not perfect. The imperfections in us can be viewed as the artist’s flair. If every vase looked the same, then none would be special. So we practice detachment and acceptance. Detach from the ephemeral things of this world and accept God’s will for us.
So, the next time someone cuts you off when you’re getting on the freeway, or you can’t see your computer desktop because of all the icons, or you accidentally wore your shirt inside out all day, just relax and remember your new habit of detachment.