The Weight of Attachment
By: Jessica Burnham
Every time I go to the ocean, I feel this strong attachment and melancholy when I leave. It is almost as if I am leaving a part of myself behind, and I know it deep within my soul. There is a part of me that wishes I could control it and not have that feeling. Emotionally, it is an aching feeling. As the sun sets, I will sometimes remember singing Taps in the girl scouts- Day is done, Gone the sun, From the hills the lakes to the sky- all is well, safely rest- God is nigh. And with it I tune into the rhythm of the land. My heart goes into another way of being and with that brings a feeling of change.
Change is one of those things that either opens us up to new possibilities or gives rise to a shut down within like a top spinning out of control. When change comes upon us, we have a choice. We are being led to a cross roads where the universe is giving us an opportunity to grow and feel out what it means psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. No one’s cross roads is any more life shattering than the next- it is all a matter of perspective and openness. Have you ever watched a child try to control a top’s direction as it spins and whirls across the floor? The outcome is usually a crash and burn situation. What does that mean?
When we try to control a situation rather than allow it to simply deliver what it is there to deliver- we usually make it very negative. I was watching a father and his son at the beach, and the young boy was attempting to go into the ocean with his father to body surf on his boogie board for the first time. Every time the father got the boy to a certain part of the waves, he would turn and run away back to the beach laughing and yelling “No!” His father was getting frustrated and kept trying to persuade him to come back into the surf. Finally the father just gave up and went on to do his own thing, while the boy continued to play on the shore. The boy was not ready to take that risk yet of going further out into the waves. But as adults, we sometimes do the same thing regarding certain levels of emotional engagement, or with our career.
An opportunity comes up, and there is someone like this father persuading us to come out and test the waters. But we half attempt it and then decide to turn around and run back to the shore. Our free will gives us the opportunity to either choose growth or run away from it. The uncomfortable feelings that come with stepping out of our comfort zone into change usually pass. We just need to be with those feelings- engage and experience them without resistance. The more we flow with the way life delivers us these opportunities for growth, the less anxiety we will feel as we step into the ocean of waves around us.
Resistance is the road block to growth. And growth is essentially the purpose of our life. Yet we engage in resistance over and over again. What does it feel like when we resist? We usually feel stress within our body, indecision can mask as resistance- instead of making a choice we pretend we really don’t know what we want or what our intuition is telling us. What other red flags are there? Anger, resentment, a feeling like the world is passing us by and we’re not getting a piece of the pie- all of these feelings are important for us to pay attention to. They are there for a reason and it is up to us to determine what that reason is. This requires deep honesty with yourself. If you can’t be honest with yourself in regards to what your feelings mean then you will always feel a sense of anxiety and nothing will take it away. The mind will tell us that our temporary fixes will diminish this stress- but we all know that the relief lasts a very short period of time and eventually a bomb will go off inside of us.
Life yields so many gifts. Yet we tend to see what we are ‘missing out on’ more than opening up to what we are experiencing and being given in the present moment. As I left the beach today- I did feel a deep sense of sadness within myself. But I also knew, through grace and awareness, that it would dissolve rather quickly the less power I gave to that feeling. Rather than make it mean something, I just chose to experience it for what it was. And you know what? It did pass rather quickly. Without attachment and expectations- we get through the times that feel like weights are attached to our heart. Letting that heaviness go can be life changing. Sharing this with you, every month, is life changing for me. I thank you for sharing in this journey with me, and I hope that the next time you feel that weight of change- it becomes a little lighter because the attachment is not weighing you down.