NONATTACHMENT: How Letting Go Can Set You Free
Seeking to live a happier, calmer, wiser life? It pays to give nonattachment a try. Here are a few quotes from spiritual principles that are related to the concept of nonattachment, renunciation or right intention for your life to make it better:
"Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you." – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (Islam)
"He who is attached to things will suffer much." – Tao Te Ching
"Consider the trees which allow the birds to perch and fly away without either inviting them to stay or desiring them never to depart. If your heart can be like this, you will be near to the Way." – Zen saying
The practice of nonattachment (right intention) is more important than you realize. Founded in ancient religious traditions, it can bring great good to your well-being.
Nonattachment does not suggest being a cold, emotionally dead brick wall; rather, it entails learning to let go of the thoughts and emotions that bring you misery. We feel tremendous relief, inner calm, and a pervading sense of joyful well-being once we stop being so attached to our thoughts and feelings.
So, how do we let go of our thoughts and feelings? We should learn to observe and separate ourselves from them through practices like mindful awareness, meditation, and self-inquiry. Here's a refreshing take by Sarah Knight on "The Magic of Not Giving a F**k".
Benefits of nonattachment that will improve well-being
When we stop clinging to external and internal things, it transforms our entire relationship with life. Here are what may happen when you learn to practice acceptance and nonattachment:
1. You'll stop being governed by your emotions, instead you’ll become interested by them.
2. You won't be attached to the outcome, so you won't feel the dread, anxiety, or inner tension that comes with holding on to expectations. Here's a helpful insight on "How to Deal with Attachment."
3. You'll be more open, curious, and spontaneous as you have no predetermined desire.
4. You'll be more peaceful and less neurotic that it improves your relationships drastically.
5. You'll feel continually peaceful and serene because you're not identifying with your feelings or thoughts –instead you're watching them as a "passive observer."
6. You're more resilient when faced with loss or death because you're not attached to people and you understand that all things are temporary.
7. You'll experience a sense of expansive freedom as you're no longer a prisoner to your mind.
8. You'll notice increased synchronicity as life flows naturally and effortlessly.
9. You won't be obsessed with "getting" things or filling an empty hole in yourself because you're content and you don't attach to the idea that something or someone has to complete you.
10. You'll feel more grounded and connected to life –you'll actually participate in life more fully because you're not stuck in thought-based attachments.
There are three major kinds of attachments: material, personal (or relationship), and thought attachments. It's important to identify and learn what your strongest attachment in life is. Here’s a short podcast by Noah Rasheta on "Understanding nonattachment."
When we stop getting attached to things and people, or when we stop judging things as good or bad, we naturally let go of anger, sadness, fear and suffering. The Dalai Lama talks about how happiness is brought about by nonattachment in "How to be Happy with Detachment."
How to stop these attachments?
Some of the ways that can help you begin to let go of habits, thought-patterns, and desires that no longer serve you, include:
1. Observe mindfulness
2. Practice meditation
3. Self-observation & self-awareness
4. Learn to seek happiness within
5. Rid yourself of "shoulds" and "musts"
6. Practice allowing and acceptance
7. Embrace uncertainty
8. Accept that everything is transient
Letting go of attachment is the way to really enjoy life. When things, beliefs, expectations, relationships, or a job begin to own you, you are trapped. But with nonattachment, you're ready to adapt and evolve the moment life presents something new. Stop holding on to things that are past their time.
Need a therapist to help you cultivate nonattachment? JarvisHypnotherapy is here to help.