Friday 3 May 2019

The Magical Power of Letting Go


As human beings, we struggle with attachment. We get attached to people, to objects and to lifestyles. We get attached to ideas, whether or not the are true.
The problem is that our attachments end up controlling us. Let’s say that you become attached to a person. That person now controls you. If that person is happy with you, then you feel good. And if that person is disappointed in you, then you feel badly.
The same theory holds true with things. Let’s say that I am very attached to my car. It is a great car. It is luxurious, and it looks sharp. Believe it or not, my car – an inanimate object – now controls me. I am happy if the car is running well, and I can afford to keep it. But what if it breaks down, or if I no longer can afford it? Then, suddenly I am disappointed.
The only way to get control over your life, strangely enough, is to let go. You have to let go of your attachment to people, things and ideas. It is only then that they stop controlling you, and you can regain control of your life and your happiness
Below are some areas of your life in which you can practice the art of letting go. Discover the power you gain over your life when you let go of your attachments.
Let Go of People: Most of us have trouble letting go of our attachments to people. The problem is that we confuse being attached to people with loving them. If I love you, I want to be good to you. I enjoy spending time with you. And I want you to be happy. That is all good.
If I am attached to you, then I am upset if you don’t want to spend time with me. I am frustrated if you disagree with me, or if you don’t act in the ways that I want you to act. And I am fearful that you might leave me. None of that is healthy.
Letting go of our attachment to people is incredibly hard. The line between love and attachment easily can get blurry. I think the best way to let go of our unhealthy attachments to people is to have a benevolent attitude toward them.
That means wanting only the best for them. That means being interested in what they think and who they are, without judging them or wanting to change them. That means appreciating people without needing them to be anything in particular or needing them to do anything in particular for you.
That is incredibly difficult. We have certain expectations of people, especially those closest to us. But what if you gave up your expectations of others? What if you appreciated what they did for you, and didn’t worry about where they fell short? I suspect there would be far fewer divorces if people had that kind of attitude. And I have to believe that all of our relationships would be a lot more peaceful.
More importantly, we would be much happier because we wouldn’t be frustrated with other people if they didn’t see the world the way we do. We wouldn’t feel resentful if others didn’t meet our needs. We wouldn’t be attached to having other people be, think and act a certain way. And that would allow us to act towards other people in a truly loving and accepting manner.
Let Go of Needing Stuff: It is human nature to be attached to acquiring things. And advertisers, malls and online shopping all prey on our desire to have more and more stuff. The problem is that when we need to have things, that need controls our happiness. If we have the things we desire, then we are happy. And if we don’t, we feel sad, disappointed or unsuccessful.
We all struggle with wanting things. I do. I struggle with wanting nice houses. I grew up in very modest circumstances. The house I was raised in always either had parts that were unfinished or were in chronic disrepair. When I look back on it, it seems bizarre, but that is how we lived. So, as an adult, it is very important to me to have a nice place to live.
However, my need to have a nice house has more control over me than it should. My happiness is dependent on having a nice, tidy, well-functioning home. I get very aggravated if there is any kind of disorder. That is where I need to let go. I need to let go of my need to have the perfect house.
We all have things that we want. Some people, like me, want beautiful, pristine houses. Others want expensive clothes or luxury cars. There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things. The problem arises when we get upset if we don’t have those nice things.
When you let go of the desire to have stuff, then that stuff no longer controls you. If you have the stuff you want, great! If you don’t, it doesn’t impact your happiness one way or another.

Let Go of the Need for the Perfect Life: Life can be good. Life even can be low stress. But life cannot be perfect. Just when you have solved one problem, another one invariably arises. That is just the nature of life.
If you decide that you can only be happy once you have the perfect spouse, job, friends, family, home and car, you will never be happy. You have to let go of the need for perfection. Otherwise, life’s imperfections will control you and make you miserable.
That is challenging. Most of us are driven to succeed. And we want success in all areas of our lives. That is fine. Striving for perfection is good. It forces us to achieve more than we would otherwise. But being depressed when you don’t achieve perfection is bad.
Something in life will always be out of whack. If your job is going beautifully, then you sister will give you a hassle. If you finally buy that perfect house, then you’ll start having problems in your marriage. Nothing ever goes perfectly.
The key to life is to let go of the need for perfection. Realize that there will always be bumps in the road. When we accept that life always will be in some way imperfect, then we can learn to be happy no matter what.
This week, work at letting go of your attachments. Let go of your attachments to people, to things and to perfection. The magic of letting go is that it gives you back control over you life so that you can be truly happy.


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