Attachments. Are they healthy? I have become attached to many things in my life including family, friends, jobs, personal possessions, and past experiences just to name a few. Are attachments bad? Not necessarily. In this article we will look at healthy attachments and unhealthy attachments.
Why do we become attached? There is nothing wrong with attachments that are healthy such as attachment to our spirit. It is also normal to feel a sense of attachment to our close friends, partners/spouses, and families. Having said that, the most important attachment is to our spirit. It is essential to stay connected and attached to spirit. Spirit is always speaking but we are seldom listening because we become detached and distracted by the external environment.
According to the Buddhist teachings, attachment leads to suffering. When we become attached to someone or something, we tend to suffer when we lose it.
Some attachments are actually essential for growth and evolution. It is however important to evaluate our attachments in an effort to release the attachments that do not serve our better good. Release the attachments that do not contribute to our overall optimal health spiritually, mentally, and physically.
In reflecting back on the attachments in my life, I have given some thought to which ones were healthy and which ones not so much. I have also given some thought to the lessons I’ve learned in the unhealthy attachments. I have found myself with unhealthy attachments to romantic relationships, friendships, and relationships with family as well as unhealthy attachments to my possessions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and my past.
At times I have also found myself attached to emotions such as fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sadness and a feeling of unworthiness. I became acutely aware of the need to let go of the attachments to my negative past experiences as they were tied to the negative emotions. Emotions are the end product of experiences. Therefore, when I would re-live those past experiences, I would also re-live the emotions attached to those experiences. Essentially, I was living in the past. I was experiencing an unhealthy attachment to my past.
Attachments to my beliefs and thoughts were another area I identified as unhealthy for me. I was very attached to what others had taught me was right and what was wrong. Those beliefs and thoughts often flowed through me in the form of judgment, perceptions, opinions, and feelings about the world around me and about the people around me. I was attached to the ideas and beliefs taught to me by the church and society. This unhealthy attachment created unhealthy feelings of judgment and separation. Judgement for those who did not subscribe to the same belief system.
Why do we stay connected to unhealthy attachments? I stayed connected to my belief system out of fear. Fear of what the church had taught me. Fear that I would go to “hell” if I did not stay attached to their belief. I have stayed attached to unhealthy relationships out of fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of hurting the other party. Fear of leaving my comfort zone. Worry over what others would think.
I have found that the more I stay attached to spirit, the less likely I am to remain connected to unhealthy attachments. Spirit will guide you away from the unhealthy attachments if you are connected and choose to follow its guidance.
Have you ever thought about the attachments in your life? Are they healthy attachments that contribute to your peace and growth or are they unhealthy attachments that leave you feeling unworthy, less than, unhappy, and fearful. It is important to keep our attachments healthy in an effort to remain balanced and in optimal health. Attachment to external things and possessions sets you up for disappointment. It is my intention to release my attachment to the external and focus more on the attachment to my internal.
When we release our attachment to the external, we no longer are bothered by the external. It becomes less important what others say and think. Material things become much less important. That new car, back yard swimming pool, new dress, or new pair of shoes become less important.
Become detached from the negative thoughts that lie to you. Become detached from others that drain you. Become detached from the need to always have something new.
Become attached to spirit. Become attached to awareness. Awareness of all the beauty and creation around you. Become attached to gratitude. Become attached to love and kindness toward ALL mankind.