A few times per day, when something triggering or stressful happens, you may take a deep breath and say to yourself, “Let it go.” This is a great practice, but did you know that letting go, or non-attachment, can be helpful even when you’re not stressing? In fact, it can prevent a lot of that stress from ever occurring.
However, we understand that concepts like non-attachment can be easily misunderstood. That’s why we have a few hints and tips that will help you grasp it a little more clearly. That way, you can start finding ways to practice non-attachment in everyday life.
Non-attachment never means that you don’t care.
This is a very common misconception. When we approach something without attachment, we’re not saying we’re indifferent to it. If you’re a passionate, friendly, excited person, you can still practice non-attachment. Please continue expressing emotion and paying attention to work, relationships, and responsibilities. Just don’t grip onto them like life depends on it! Life itself is just as impermanent as those things.
Allow, allow, allow.
Ultimately, non-attachment is a core principle of some types of behavioral therapy. With non-attachment, we challenge ourselves to stop resisting. Think of it like a sore muscle. When you tense up, it hurts even worse. If you let it be, knowing that nothing is permanent, including that soreness, you’re allowing the pain to pass. Nothing undesirable can leave unless you leave the door unlocked for it.
Enjoy the journey.
Are you a results-driven individual? Well, that means you’re attached to getting what it is that you want or expect. Along the way, you’re missing out on lessons, or even opportunities that would inspire you to set even bigger goals. Mindfulness is a big part of non-attachment, as we set our sights on the here and now only. We aren’t waiting around for the happiness results or victories will bring us.
It rarely comes naturally.
Non-attachment is a good concept to pair with meditation and mindfulness. This is especially true when you’re fixated on receiving the benefits of such practices. Sit down with your singing bowl today. As you play the rim, exhale and say to yourself, “I release all expectations.” Or some other variant that resonates with you.
It lets you love more freely and selflessly.
Relationships, we say, are all about give and take. But is equal distribution really the foundation of love? Of course all relationships thrive with reciprocity, but it doesn’t work when it’s so intentional. What if someone left your life without “paying back” the last kindness you paid them? You might feel resentful, as though you were owed something. That’s not love!
You can gain much more from life when you let go. Learn to express love and kindness without expecting (even subconsciously) a single thing in return. Do it only because you want to, because it’s part of your energy. This way, when a friendship, working relationship, or romantic relationship does come to an end, you’re more capable of feeling gratitude for what was. That’s always better for you than bitterness or regret.
What does non-attachment mean to you? In your life, what has been the toughest event or emotion to let go of? Why? Please share in the comments below, and be sure to visit us next week for more.