In a world focused of ‘keeping up with the Jones’ and romantic idealism such as ‘you complete me’, it’s no wonder we find ourselves attaching our emotions and happiness to outside sources rather than going with the flow that life has to offer. With some helpful everyday guidelines, though, we can keep ourselves on the proverbial healthy spiritual track.
1. Make peace with your past
When we hold on to negative feelings and resentments towards others, we are attaching ourselves to past situations and their painful emotions. If we allow ourselves some emotional detachment, we will realize that these events have already transpired, so what is the point in continually reliving them? By forgiving others, we not only refuse to surrender our power over the past but also allow ourselves to move forward with a feeling of lightness and freedom.
2. Hold on loosely
In personal relationships we can easily become attached to another, and while committing our love to someone is a beautiful life experience, all of us must retain our own identity and spiritual inner strength. We need to appreciate and respect our loved ones without leeching on to their lives and trying to control them.
3. Do not let outside influences define you
We live in a material world without a doubt, but recognizing that these physical objects do not define us is the key to releasing attachment. If we are constantly defining ourselves and our self-worth by the latest in fashion, cars, luxury trips, and so forth, we will forever be controlled by these things, and by the people who also bind themselves to these outside, insubstantial influences.
4. Be open minded
We all have our comfort zones concerning the people in our lives and the environments we feel safe and familiar with. These patterns of living persuade us to attach ourselves to what we are accustomed to, cheating us out of new experiences and relationships. Without change, there will be no spiritual growth and our life experiences will shrink down to only what we currently know and feel safe and comfortable with.
5. Live in the now
Past memories and future possibilities can distract us from living in the moment, thus missing out on whatever life experiences we could be learning from. If we are attached and focused on past events or future hopes, we cannot move freely in the moment, because each experience is tainted by either regret or expectation.
6. Be aware of your own thought processes
Regrettably, it can be all too easy to attach ourselves to people, objects or our environments because we all crave security, acceptance and love. The key is to realize we need to have these connections but not to rely on them to complete us. When we become overly attached to these outside sources, we all too often want to control and manipulate them, hindering us from fully living in the moment. This can place us in a state of panic, with our attempts to posses or control something outside of us ultimately resulting in the loss of that control we erroneously thought we had.
7. Release the need to know or control
If we place future expectations on every moment, we sacrifice our ability to appreciate that moment, whether it is harmful or helpful to our future. It is important to allow ourselves to go with the ‘flow’ of what life brings us, while keeping our eyes on our fundamental goals. If we are emotionally invested in each moment for some opportunity it may bring us in the future, we risk a lifetime of missed real and present experiences and the feeling of never quite reaching our desired destination.