The Mistake of Attaching to Non-Attachment
After hearing about non-attachment the tendency of the mind is to instantly fire up and start masterminding ways of “achieving” non-attachment.
But be careful! Even the desire to want no desire is still a desire!
The whole point of non-attachment is to begin paying attention to your thoughts.
What occupies your mind all day? What drives you?
In what ways are you seeking happiness from the external world rather than the internal world? Non-attachment is a concept that helps us to explore what is happening within us but at the same time, it can easily become yet another attachment.
So pay attention. Be wary of allowing non-attachment to become yet another “Trophy” you’re trying to add to your spiritual cabinet because it doesn’t work that way. It is impossible to practice true non-attachment when we’re attached to the desire to be non-attached.
How do we prevent this (largely overlooked) attachment from happening?
We’ll explore that next.
How to Stop Being Attached to Thoughts, Feelings, People, and Circumstances
Non-attachment is usually the byproduct of spiritual practices such as self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-love.
Here are some useful ways to begin letting go of habits, desires, and thought-patterns that no longer serve you:
1. Stop looking for happiness in external things
When we chase happiness by believing that someone or something outside of ourselves can make us happy, we suffer. In fact, the pursuit of happiness is the greatest form of attachment there is in society. Instead, try to direct your attention inwards.
At first, seeking happiness from within can be extremely difficult as we’ve been conditioned to find “happiness” in material things, accomplishments, titles, and people. But with practice, you will start to find the peaceful center within you known as your soul.
Regularly setting aside time to be quiet and still with yourself can help you tune into this inner space.
2. Let go of the “shoulds” and “musts”
How do you approach life?
Are the words “should” and “must” a big part of your vocabulary?
Expectations (which are mental attachments) are always prefaced with one of these two words, for example, “He should be nicer,” “I must achieve this or I will be a failure,” “They should stop doing that immediately.”
Pay attention to the use of these two words and how they reflect in your behavior. Are you believing that something “should” happen or someone “must” be a certain way? Let it go. You cannot change people. Allow life to flow without imposing useless expectations onto it.
3. Practice allowing
Allowing is about permitting life to be just as it is. Allow your thoughts. Allow your emotions. Allow things to not go the way you expected.
In the words of Abraham Hicks, “The Art of Allowing is the art of finding my alignment, and therefore, living in joy no matter what’s happening around me.”
By allowing life to happen, you stop resisting and suffering ceases.
4. Make friends with uncertainty
We control, obsessively plan, and try to predict things out of pure fear. But the problem is that the more we resist uncertainty, the more paranoid, anxious, and tense we become. When we learn to embrace uncertainty and to allow life to unfold as it wants, we don’t experience fear anymore – instead, we feel calm, curious, and open to all possibilities.
This openness allows us to adopt a playful attitude towards life because we’re no longer limited by fearing the unknown. Sometimes a simple shift in mindset can help you befriend uncertainty instead of loathe it. For example, instead of dreading “what will come around the corner” start perceiving the unknown as a big surprise waiting to happen.