Why do we have such a hard time letting go?
I didn’t like this term detachment when I first started learning about it. I thought wouldn’t life be meaningless if I let go of everything? Maybe monks and Buddha’s can say this but how the heck is a 20 something supposed to let go of all attachments?
Now I am incredibly grateful for this practice of non-attachment as it has completely changed my outlook on life for the better and reduced my stress and worry a hundredfold. The thing where people get stuck on is the idea of detachment meaning completely letting go of all the things that matter in your life, and their comfortable lifestyle. Detach from my child/spouse/lover? What a “selfish/impossible/unthinkable” thing to do. Drop all the comforts I worked so hard to acquire in my life? No way!
People get confused to think that detachment means walking away and not caring about these things, but this is a great misconception.
Detachment isn’t a stand alone practice... if we only detached, detached, detached we would feel at a loss. The letting go process is to generate more room to move closer to deep peace within. In yoga we call it “satchitananda” truth-consciousness-bliss, some people call it true self/higher self, or God/Goddess or Creator or universal consciousness. I call it all of those things as for me their is no difference. So the more and more we crave this inner peace, love, freedom and bliss the more and more we are able to detach from everything else that does not bring us truth, love and bliss. This has to come with a whole lot of trust. Trusting with deep intuitive knowing that inside you exists the love, bliss and wholeness we all crave. Sometimes we need to reach out to friends, teachers or spiritual books to re-establish our faith again and again as life is constantly testing us.
When we know fully that within us lies the key to happiness, detachment happens all around us. We see very easily that money, chocolate, and “things” in general will only bring us temporary happiness. We see how we cling to people for love, attention, validation and self-esteem. One day we receive it and then one day we don’t. We see how our thoughts and emotions deceive us; one day happy, next day sad...
So you see detachment simply means letting go of all those transient things in our minds (and sometimes externally) as the means to fill the void (make us feel whole). At the same time coming back again and again to the permanent knowing that we are completely self-sufficient in providing ourselves with everything we need at any moment to feel completely one with our true selves.
For me my life and relationships have changed in incredible ways thanks to these teachings and my hard work realizing them (and continuing to realize them). The opportunities to practice detachment are endless. The more we work on this the more established we become in knowing our own worth and living in love, freedom and bliss. Just think of all the ways we behave for validation, approval, self worth/love, our of fear, our of boredom, compulsion etc. And imagine your life if we behaved out of love and truth and deep trust?
Every moment is a choice to move towards what liberates you or what limits you. Here’s to the courage it takes to step into your greatness ❤️🙏
A big thanks to my teacher Prasad for selflessly sharing these teachings and being my inspiration to walk this path, and to my friends, family students and yoga community that keep me connected to what truly matters.