“You are sad if you don’t get what you want; you will still be sad even if you get what you want, because you can’t have it always.”
Often we cling to things in our lives because they give us a sense of security. In an ever-changing world especially, where there are suffering and uncertainties, we feel vulnerable, insecure, unwanted, and insignificant, so to ease our burden we reach for comforts or security blankets. However, most religions in the world talk about detachment from things to experience freedom and avoid certain forms of suffering. Being detached does not mean that we cannot enjoy anything or enjoy being with anyone. Rather, it refers to the fact that clinging strongly to anything or anyone causes us problems. We become dependent on that object or person and think, “If I lose it or cannot always have it, I am going to be miserable.” Being detached is not about numbing our feelings or desires or not having compassions or love. It is also not about not being able to purse our passions or dreams. It is a separate matter altogether. Detachment means, “If I get the food I love, very nice. If I do not get it, okay. It is not the end of the world.” If I get the beautiful girl next door that I like, to be my wife, I will be ecstatic, if not, God has a better plan or candidate for me?” There is no attachment or clinging to it. It is not only the physical things like possessions, projects, people or investments that we have a tendency to cling to. We also cling to the other non-tangible things like our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, results, beliefs and assessments that are not working in our life and they bring us suffering. When we become so attached to these things in our lives, we resist changes and exploration of unfamiliar ground. We choose familiarity in life over adventure – preferring to stick to the familiar and clinging on to the things which are no longer bring us joy or serve us. We resist changes because it brings us discomfort; and we are afraid that it will overwhelms us when we do not know the future or we feel that we are not in control of the results in the future. So we cling onto whatever we are familiar in our lives, as did Linus (from Peanuts) who will cling on to his blanket for the security that gives him.But change is the only constant in this fast pace life we live in. We can’t avoid them. Maybe it is time to look at what you are clinging on to and decide if it is still working for you. By clinging onto these things in your life, does it get you to where you want in your life – your dreams, passions, values, etc. But clinging onto them, what have you missed in life? As the title of this article suggests, maybe it is time to let go of everything in our life that no longer serve so that you can have those that are important to you, which means everything to you.