A week ago I sat down to write this post. For the life of me I could not get the window for Word to open out to fill the screen. I did not want to be typing in an itty-bitty window where I could not see all the words. But no matter how much I held and dragged the corner of the window, closed and re-opened Word, it just wasn't budging. First world problems to have, I know!
In writing the post I wanted to explore the concept of attachment, some may call it desire. It’s a concept that I know intellectually but want to understand at a deeper level. Over the years I have found that when I write about these ideas it helps me see them better in my own life. What do I mean by attachment? I’ll start with a definition from Dictionary.com, “a feeling that binds one to a person, thing, cause, ideal, or the like; devotion; regard.” Well, isn’t that interesting?
I started this process trying to open the new word document to a particular size. I wanted; desired; needed; a window that filled the screen. With it, I thought, I am able to see the full scope of what I’m writing and feel more in control of what I’m producing. I’m used to writing with the full screen, I like writing with the full screen, and come hell or high water I was going to do the post with a full screen! To me, typing in a full-screened Word document was how it was done. I was ‘attached’ or bound to that idea. But my need to write won over my inability to change the screen size, so I gave up letting go of the desire for a full screen. What do you know? I was typing away and the fact that I had an itty-bitty screen didn’t affect the outcome. This is minor in life but remember, we practice these ideas on small irritants so that when it comes to the bigger ‘stuff’ it’s easier.
Here’s my big stuff.
My friend Sharon and I talk about spiritual concepts like attachment all the time and I had asked for her thoughts the last time we chatted. It had been percolating in my brain because I’m helping another friend (who will stay nameless) sort out her budget and cash flow. She is going through a big life change. I’m good at that sort of thing and I know if she listens to me then she will get through this phase just fine. Did you catch that? “If she listens to me…” is my attachment to her outcome. How do I know? Because when she does something other than what I think she should be doing I get upset.
My (nameless) friend is an adult. Even if she were an addict, for instance, she has to be the one to make the change in her life. I can offer guidance and/or support but I can’t change her life for her. It’s the same with her budget. Standing outside of her situation suggesting ways to move forward based on the information I’m given is the limit of my help. She has to choose the path. She has to walk her path. I can never know her full story, somewhat like the mini screen of my Word document. I could see the words in the small window knowing there were lots of other words that I couldn’t see making the story complete. My friend has parts to her story I will never know. And I have to be ok with that.
The minute I get upset that she’s doing something in her financial life that I disagree with is the same minute that I am ‘attached’ to an outcome. Who is affected by my ‘upset’ and my attachment? Only me. My friend has gone on her merry way happily doing what she’s doing, and doing fine too. As soon as I let go the struggle of trying to get the Word document to widen in the big screen I was able to get the post written.
Remember attachment is being bound to one idea or outcome. When I bind my thought to only one avenue it blocks all the other streets or highways that may get me to the same destination quicker. Let me count the ways I do this everyday – no, let’s not – let’s all instead be mindful of the ways in which we are attached to a certain outcome and open ourselves to being more expansive.
Don’t limit yourself my friends, don’t attach yourself to one outcome. The universe is abundant, unattached, and wants you and I to have it all. We need only open ourselves to it!
PS - isn't this reminiscent of being attached to my hair? :)