It’s funny how when you learn about something you start to notice it coming up everywhere.
I’d never thought about it until one of my yoga teachers brought it up one night. She described an addiction to places, people, foods, substances, and experiences that really ignite us. She described not the chasing of bliss as being problematic, but the ferocity in which we hold onto the things we crave. We are beings who rely on attachment.
We hold onto beauty, excitement, connection, love, and even the dangerous, all because we’re addicted to the way it makes us feel. Blood pumping through our body, a glow that finds its way onto our face, a feeling of lightness.
Have you ever said you’d have just one piece of chocolate, but the first is so good that you end up finishing the whole bar? Or maybe chips, or takeout, or something else is your vice when it comes to food. No matter what it is, the sensation is just the same.
We love something so much that we get panicky, so we do everything we can to get all we can to keep the good feeling going.
But then, when the bag is empty or the bar is gone, we don’t feel as great as when we started. We wanted something so badly, were so attached to the way we perceived the situation and how it made us feel, that we overindulged. Our attachment got the best of us.
To move outside of the realm of something as seemingly benign as food, let’s apply this same idea to, say, relationships. We cling to the good because we can’t get enough. We get addicted to the way it feels to be with someone like that. But the problem is, when what we love leaves, or it drains us, taking every last piece of our being, we’re left curled up on our beds wondering what went so horribly wrong. Unprepared for what it would be like to not have that person or that thing or whatever you find yourself so attached to.
We became so focused on the high that we forgot how to create our own happiness. How to simply be.
When we assign so much meaning to something, this often breeds attachment. Energy is everything, and therefore, if all of our energy is sent to one place, that’s where we exist. Often, in a small and narrow bubble of “happiness” that’s based on attachment.
So how to we avoid this attachment?
By understanding that we don’t really own anything. By constantly letting go, and operating under the idea that it is easy to let go when nothing was ours to begin with will help to welcome true joy into your life that’s not rooted in one specific thing, but can be found in everything.
I think this is getting to the root of self-love and awareness. When we begin to detach from the spaces we’ve been relying on to keep us happy, we find that joy in ourselves. It’s inevitable.
Because, ultimately, joy is not about just one “thing.” It’s about just being. Existing. Basking in the glow of each moment by accepting it for what it is. Not judging it, not trying to change it. A vibrant and beautiful life is the result of non-attachment and a sunny disposition.
So, I challenge myself to let go. Just breathe. And be.