We live in a busy and fast-paced world, surrounded by media and advertising. We are constantly bombarded with information about products, services and treatments we should buy in almost every aspect of daily life. We wake up to marketing emails, hear adverts on the radio as we make our morning cup of coffee. See constant billboards and posters for products, and of course our senses are flooded with information and advertising the minute we switch on the television or connect to the internet.
It doesn’t just stop there though! Social media and the prevalence of sites such as Facebook and Twitter entice us to almost continually share our lives, the things we buy, achieve, want and live with hundreds, if not thousands of strangers each day. Our ‘friends’ online are often people we have never met who we share photos with, memes, quotes and other ‘micro-connections.’ It’s easy to get lost in trying to validate ourselves through how many people say they like our latest photo, or to negatively compare our own lives to the lives of others, constantly shouting out about their amazing achievements, salaries and ambitions.
It’s very easy, then to live our lives caught up in a state of almost perpetual attachment to what we have, what we want, how we might get it, and worrying about whether we have enough, or need more.
The wide spectrum of attachments
Attachments to possessions such as the latest gadget, car, clothing line or other status items can add to this tension. In the case of some people their attachment to material possessions becomes so profound that the things they own end up owning them. These are the kind of people who for example buy a new car because of the status they feel it will give them, but are too afraid to drive it in case it gets damaged.
It’s not just material things we get attached to though. We might obsess over finding the perfect relationship, or our imagined dream job. We might spend our lives searching for what we believe to be a single soulmate, constantly worried we will never find that person, or if we have, scared to lose them.
We might worry so much about what other people think about us, whether we are young enough, thin enough, pretty enough, successful enough, that there is no time to really discover who we are.
Cultivating relaxation amidst the frenzy
Amidst all of this frenetic activity it’s amazing that many people manage to find time to connect to their relaxed selves at all. Some, who are addicted to social media, or to gaining possessions or the constant chase of their social status, might never find this.
However, these are extreme examples. Most of us at least recognise on some level that the more we chase attachments the less satisfied we feel overall. Yet these attachments are seductive, providing short-term highs, or planting ruminating thoughts in our head, that can creep up on us so slowly we don’t realise they are there.
This is another reason why taking time to remind ourselves to let go, to relax, to fall into ourselves, instead of constantly chasing after a different version of ourselves is so important.
It is the path to deep and profound contentment.
How to become free from attachments
(This part of the article is written by a different author as a passionate reply to the above text)
So then, how to arrive there? To that place of contentment? Is it even possible?
There are potentially many answers to those questions.
Lets just entertain one for now. Namely, knowing yourself as you are.
Oh great, yet another big challenge is one thought that maybe popped into your mind.
Well it doesn’t have to be.
Redundant and unhealthy attachments is only possible when you as a human being are a stranger to your own self. When you know yourself, you come to understand that happiness, joy and contentment is always found within the retreats of your own mind and soul. Attachments means to be dependent on “objects”, whether mental or physical is of no importance.
From a spiritual perspective, you are not an object. Your body is, your psychological mind is, but you, the essential you, isn’t an object. Its the subject that is simply here, present and always readily available for any experience to be experienced.
Isn’t that a wonderful thing to become aware of?
Come to know the subject more than the objects in front of you. When you do this and know fully the fact of your existence, attachments will wither away or be like a thin mist dancing in your consciousness. Attachments won’t imprison you no more, you’ll be free and joyous in your own right, naturally.