Living simply in the wild

On Attachments

 

reel1I really should stop asking questions. The universe has a way of teaching me when I ask things. It is kind of like those times where you have been thinking about someone and then you suddenly bump into that person and you get to say “hey!! I was just thinking about you”. I tend to have those occurrences often as well.

I have been reading a few books lately, a lot of Stuart Little, kindergarten workbooks, Dr Seuss, and some Buddhist theory books. Obviously the last one I have been reading the least, Cat in the Hat is much more my speed.

So there I was nose deep in Buddhist Principles for Dummies (not really, but i wouldn’t be surprised if that book really exists) and they talk about attachments. How one shouldn’t be attached to things. I’ll be honest with you, this one threw me. I am a very attached person. I’m attached to having things my way, attached to the idea of how things should be, attached to grudges, to animals, and mostly attached to my thoughts.

No matter how much I twisted and turned this practice around in my brain I just couldn’t get it.

Be unattached.

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Seems silly to me.

Ok….I guess I can let go of that one grudge. I mean, after all it was back in high school. Friends lie to each, and i’m pretty sure I had lies of my own. So ok, I can let that one go. But Giving up having things my way? So not happening.

I stand on the belief that spiritual and religious items are up for interpretation. I mean, that is all it really can be. We can’t go to the people who wrote down these truths (or lies) and ask them what they really meant. So I could have everything all backwards, the way my brain works I wouldn’t be surprised. So i’m interpreting this theory to mean that our happiness should come from within. We should not depend….be attached…to any one thing so much that our happiness depends on it.

You don’t love me back? Now I am crushed, emotionally crippled, ruined.

If that happens we have failed to realize what this wonderful principle is teaching us.

Confused as can be, I put it out there….I put it out there that I was really stumped on this teaching. When I did that I began being tested. No major tests yet thankfully but little ones…

Test One:

Our dear dog Trouper is no longer ours. Even now I am failing miserably at this whole unattached thing claiming he was ours…Trouper was never OURS. He was a gift and a member of our family. Long story short he had some health issues and we were not going to be able to provide him with the care he needed for the long haul. He is now in a wonderful home with other dogs to play with and loving owners that will see he has a long and happy life. Something we weren’t sure we would be able to provide him with. He even got to be in the Parade at the Fire and Ice Festival, he never would have been able to do that if he still lived with us. That wasn’t the issue though. His new family renamed him. No big deal right? Well to someone attached it was.

He won’t know his name! He will be so confused. He is Trouper. Ok yes, Trouper may be a bit cheesy, but it fit him. His new name doesn’t fit him.

All these thoughts started rattling through my brain. I was becoming sad then angry.

How could they. He was ours first and we named him. You can’t just rename someone else’s dog!

I’m not sure what it was that snapped me out of it, but I am thankful it did. Trouper was never ours, so how could I could I be upset. I can’t be. Trouper has a wonderful place to live with loving owners and they have the right to do as they see fit. So I unattached myself and found myself extremely grateful for his new life instead of angry and bitter.

Second Test:

This may seem silly to all you non-knitters out there. But if you have ever spent hours on a project then half way through you get stuck on something. You then ask your husband who is the handiest person alive to help, then he totally ruins the project and now you have to start all the way over from the beginning. If this has happened to you then you can surely relate. It’s happened, on more then one occasion. If you work on a project for a few hours you do become attached to it. Then when it gets ruined it is hard not to get angry about it. Really angry about it! So angry it just might ruin the entire day. Or maybe I just have some unresolved anger issues I should look into. Either way….each time I choose try to choose to be unattached. Even if i’m totally misinterpreting this principle it’s saving my marriage, so it is a win win.

      ‘Attachment is the origin, the root of suffering; hence it is the cause of suffering.’ 

I don’t believe this is meant to be interpreted to detach yourself from all mankind. I believe it means to not be so consumed by one that it affects your happiness.

It still spins my mind sometimes if I think on it too hard. So I am taking the simple approach. The Cat in The Cat approach and really simplifying things. Reminding myself to not be so attached to my thoughts, to my beliefs, to my way. That it is ok if something doesn’t go as planned…let go of that attachment. It is ok if something I believed was disproved….just let it go. If the dishes weren’t put away correctly…leave it. That my husband and kids don’t enjoy doing things I enjoy…detach yourself from it and enjoy it anyways.

It is a daily struggle and I forget, a lot. I forget I am supposed to be unattached and I freak out. Sometimes i’ll receive a nice little reminder and other times i’ll continue spewing angrily over what has happened. The universe doesn’t always give handouts. But every day I try, I try to be aware of the things that I am attached to and let them go…the days that I do that, they end up being much brighter days and filled with less suffering.

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