Choosing non-attachment to external forms is a necessity on the path to Self-Realization. Non-attachment can seem only slightly difficult or even easy when it comes to things like refraining from eating another slice of pizza, or putting work before leisure, or exercising a few times a week. However, when it comes to stressful situations, challenges in important relationships, or crises, non-attachment can often just go out the window, because, as human beings, we really cherish certain outcomes and ways of getting to those outcomes.
Whether it is wanting a loved one to treat us a certain way, feeling exhausted but having too much work pressing on us on top of family responsibilities, or facing health crises, some situations border on feeling “too difficult” for us at times. Or we truly long for something (money, perhaps) or someone (a romantic partner) and feel afraid that things won’t go “our way”.
When we feel fear or anger, anxiety or extreme emotional hurt, this is a signal that we are holding onto something rather than practicing non-attachment. When we recognize that we are feeling upset, then the first thing we need to do is to identify what it is that we are seeking to hold onto, such as a certain person treating us a certain way, or getting paid a certain amount for our work, or being honored for work we did.
Once we have identified what we’re holding onto (e.g. “I wish he’d call me and ask me out”), then we can ask the Divine for helping letting go. Letting go, of course, isn’t easy, but asking for divine help makes it easier.
For Christmas, I actually asked my family members to get me artwork and statues of Buddha, who has, in his Ascended Master form, directly helped me with spiritual issues before, especially non-attachment. This past Sunday, after Christmas, I was indeed struggling with something deeply emotional and I felt a million miles away from peace. So, I picked up the medicine Buddha sculpture that I had been given a few days before, and asked Buddha to help me with non-attachment. I asked, “how do I deal with this?”
The reply I got was first: “let go of desire.” Of course, I’ve heard that before, but this was a case in which desire was extremely hard for me to let go. So, I asked for help letting go of desire, and Buddha answered that I just needed to let Godde know that I love him/her more than the desire that I was holding onto.
So, I began the practice of letting Godde know what I desire, but also then telling Godde that I desire Godde more than the desire I was holding onto. This works! I am so grateful to Buddha for teaching this lesson this way, because we get to express our desires to Godde without shame or guilt or blame, and we get to remember to put Godde first.
Obviously, non-attachment in difficult situations can seem very challenging, so I hope this technique will help you. The interesting fact is that, in this ongoing situation in which I know I need to practice non-attachment, when I do practice it, the things that I desire have worked out so much better than I feared.
Finally, fear is a form of attachment, and if we are feeling fear, we need to become aware of what we are afraid of happening, and then let Godde know what we would desire to have happen. Then, we can practice non-attachment by telling Godde that we love Godde more than anything or anyone. God is listening and watching to see if we mean it. Fortunately, God is not watching from some cold distance, but rather Godde is loving us and walking through the situation with us.
One of the wonderful gifts of this approach is that, if we tell Godde several times a day that we love Godde and that we desire Godde more than anything else, it not only changes us for the better, it changes our lives for the better.
May you be richly blessed with non-attachment through the pure energy of devotion, and my your devotion purify and transform you!