“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” ~Dalai Lama
Last week we collectively were awakened by the suicides of two famous and wealthy celebrities, which most of us never knew but nonetheless were floored by their self-destructive actions. It was inconceivable that these seemingly blessed people still couldn't find peace in their lives. Even more incredible is the stories that we created around each of those senseless deaths just to make ourselves feel better.
Both suicides were senseless to me and made me more aware of how much struggling and suffering there is on this blessed planet of ours. I've heard this week over and over how hard life is and how everyone is "trying". In fact, they are not trying, they are either doing or not doing. Trying is when you struggle and suffer because you are truly unwilling to change. So by saying I'm trying, you give yourself an out just in case you fail. In fact, you are probably doing, just not up to your expectations or the expectations of others.
What I also realized is that pretty much all of our struggles, from frustrations to anxiety, from anger to sadness, from grief to worry, all stem from the same thing …
The struggles come from being too tightly attached to something.
When we’re worried, we are tightly attached to how we want things to be, rather than relaxing into accepting whatever might happen when we put forth our best effort. When we’re frustrated with someone, it’s because we’re attached to how we want them to be, rather than accepting them as the wonderfully flawed human they are. When we procrastinate, we are attached to things being easy and comfortable (like distractions) rather than accepting that to do something important, we have to push into discomfort. In trying to hold on to what’s familiar, we limit our ability to experience joy in the present.
Moreover, it seems as if we pin our happiness to people, circumstances, and things and then hold onto them for dear life. We stress about the possibility of losing them when something seems amiss. Then we melt into grief when something changes—a lay off, a breakup, or the awakening to a friendship that never was. An awakening to how we gave so much of our power over to people, places and things that in reality meant nothing and who never had the capability to give us what we wanted.
When you stop trying to grasp, own, and control the world around you, you give it the freedom to fulfill you without the power to destroy you. That’s why letting go is so important— letting go is letting happiness in.
I recognize that it is not so simple to let go of attachment. It is not a one-time decision, like pulling off a band-aid. Instead, it’s a day-to-day, moment-to-moment commitment that involves changing the way you experience and interact with everything you instinctively want to grasp.
Today, accept the moment for what it is and let NOW be enough. Become your own best friend. It is difficult to let go of people, when you depend on them for your sense of worth. Believe you’re worthy whether someone else tells you or not. This way, you relate to people, not just how they make you feel about yourself.
Finally, experience, appreciate, enjoy, and let go to welcome new and wonderful experiences and people. You are enough and it's time to let go of all the people, places and things that you no longer need. It's time to welcome in the new you who you are becoming.