On attachment

I have quotes upon quotes about attachment. Quotes I have taken guidance from so many times, they’ve lost their wordsmithed efficacy. We are all scared of pain. That is why we are hesitant in being vulnerable.

“No good thing renders its possessor happy, unless his mind is reconciled to the possibility of loss.”

– Seneca the Younger

I have a girl. We are both leaving in some number of months: her for college, me for travel. And yet we’re hanging out a lot now, growing attached to each other. I am feeling doubt, insecurity, and fear. Doubt if we’ll work out, insecure about our place in this universe, and fear that when we part ways it will be so painful.

“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.”

– Dalai Lama

But would you rather have a drab, mediocre, spiritually impoverished existence or one full of light and love? When you close yourself to pain and hardship and vulneribility, you think you have stopped the angush: that is false. What you have done is blocked yourself from happiness and love and peace. The pain is muted but so is everything of light.

“Stillness, insight, and wisdom arise only when we can settle into being complete in this moment, without having to seek or hold on to or reject anything. This is a testable proposition. Try it out just for fun, see for yourself whether letting go when a part of you really wants to hold on doesn’t bring a deeper satisfaction than clinging.”

– Jon Kabat-Zinn

I don’t have answers for you. I don’t have answers for myself. I just know that no matter how scary, how frightening, being vulnerable and open and exposed is — it is so much worse to feel nothing.

I am confused. But I am here and feeling deeply. I thank the world for that.

 

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