In Anthony De Mello’s book “The Way To Love” he talks alot about our attachment to people and things. In particular he mentions our need to be loved by another as if we would die if they did not exist.
When we give up who we are to please another person we prostitute our being. We are no longer ourselves but instead begin to conform to what they want/expect of us. Even when we think we know what it is another person wants there are no guarantees that we will get it right so we live in constant fear of making a mistake.
That is no way to live and it is certainly no way to love. I am certainly no expert on love but the one thing I have learnt from studying Mr De Mello is the fact that our attachments are the root cause of our unhappiness and at any moment we can detachment from them all and enjoy true and long lasting happiness.
Detachment doesn’t mean you give a person or thing up. You don’t have to detach from your car by selling it and giving it up because that just produces the pain of not having and even more unhappiness. But it is about recognizing that without the car you can remain happy. Without the big house you are still a unique and wonderful human being.
Detaching who you are from what you own is an important part of personal growth. Your greatest error will be to believe that who you are is based upon what you own and what you have because if you ever have to give them up then you will lose confidence in yourself and who you are. If you earn 30,000 a month and drive a sports car then suddenly you lose your job, after a few months can’t keep up mortgage payments on your exclusive town house and lose that, the car goes next and you are left unemployed without the trappings does that make you any less important than you were when you had them? The answer of course is no it does not.
It is an unstable state of illusion if you place all your confidence into the status that you believe a car or house will give you because it’s all relative to the situation. What does that mean…????
Well imagine you live in a neighborhood where everyone drives cars worth £7,000 (dollars, rupees, yen… whatever your currency just include it rather than get off track here!) and you buy yourself a wonderful BMW and your car is worth £24,000. Instantly you believe that your status is above everyone and they believe that too. They automatically believe you must have more money – even if you did buy the car on HP!
You drive around in your neighborhood and everyone looks at your car with envy. The guys all want to talk to you because they want the opportunity to get into and be seen in your car….. you’re the top of the pack!
Today you decide to visit a friend. You drive to your friends house and in her neighborhood everyone drives a car to the value of £45,000 and over. Jags, convertible Audi, Porche, Mercedes….. they don’t even look at you as you drive up because you’re considered a “poor cousin” compared to what they drive.
Now suddenly in this neighborhood your status means nothing… where as just 10 minutes before in your own neighborhood you felt like the top of the pack you are suddenly reduced to nothing worth looking at when you visit your friend.
This is why placing your status in “things” is so shallow and a complete waste of time…. because there will be times when it will make you feel great and other times when it won’t! It will never help fill the void for what you are truly looking for. It provides temporary relief from feeling like nothing but at any moment if you lost your precious thing you will drop right back down again. Plus you have to work hard to keep it, maintain it and replace it with something better. You will worry about people stealing, breaking and ruining it and this worry will cause ill health.
How much easier is it to focus on building our inner strength. In knowing that within us is something so strong. This ever increasing, always available, uplifting and empowering energy within you is your own greatness and when you learn to tap into it nothing and no one can stop you from feeling amazing 100% of the time. At different times of our lives we will jump in and out of this ocean depending on our needs but we will always know that at any moment we can return and recharge because it will always be there with unconditional love waiting for us.
Now isn’t that so much better than plain ole stuff!!!