Attachment…This concept has been my nemesis. It haunts me still but has also been a great teacher for me.
I had some time to ponder the concept of attachment today. Usually, and I hate to use this as an excuse but I find myself so busy I just kind of go through the motions. I’m on autopilot. Not necessarily the way I want to spend my day but when society demands so much more out of time frames, that, in my opinion are not realistic then we become slaves to the clock and not necessarily to quality.
When I’m on autopilot with such things in my schedule I often forget to turn autopilot off. As a result the rest of my day races by with me often grasping for its location. I find myself feeling tired and with little energy and little desire to take care of myself. I fall into bed and amaze my wife as I fall asleep within minutes.
I find myself thinking too much or as some might say “over-thinking” issues that require about half of the amount which I place in them. My running has been one area.
My last post discussed my attempt to transition to full minimalist and ultimately barefoot running. I finally admitted to myself, and accepted the fact the time frame which I placed on this transition was totally unrealistic. Instead, as this process continued I totally left brained it and examined under a microscope every detail while overlooking the simplest of answers. The answers were in front of me the entire time. It was “I” who chose not to see them as answers. My attachment to the belief that it must be something else caused me this emotional pain and ultimately the physical pain of an injury. This for me is the essence of attachment. My desire to not see things the way they are, to not accept things they way they are but the belief that I have the power and control to change everything.
Attachment to things is difficult to break. There is a level of comfort in our belief that we can control the uncontrollable. John Daido Loori said, “Because we think we have intrinsic existence within our skin, and what’s outside our skin is “everything else,” that we go through life grabbing for one thing after another to make us feel safe, or to make us happy.” Denial of the truth is what I believed would bring me happiness. It is also this, my attachment to happiness which caused the onset of emotional and physical pain to become a partner with whom I walked.
We “pursue” happiness because we think it is generated outside of ourselves. But it’s also because we think things are outside of ourselves that we are stressed about them and worry about them. Whatever can be found can also be lost. As I reflected on my decision to “not run for the next month” I felt a sense of calm; of peace with my decision. I knew then I had finally accepted my present state and identified that “it is what it is.”
With this reflection, I had reached non-attachment.