Winter Solstice - A Time for Reflection
Reflect. Recognize. Renew.
Life is full of ups and downs and hanging on and letting go. Certainly, at this point in history, it is a roller coaster ride for most of us, to put it mildly.
I’ve confessed at many a retreat that I’m a “recovering control freak.” While that may seem silly to some, I tried to control my life for years and by default, the people in it. I also tried to control the outcome of situations in my life. You and I both know it is simply impossible to control anything or anyone.
The concept of non-attachment came into my life in 2016 and it was just what I needed. I was attached to everything. The lives of my adult children. Traffic caused by bad drivers. The actions (or mostly inactions) of romantic partners. Since I wanted a better outcome than I was getting, I pushed harder. I stressed more. I got frustrated.
As I explored the concept of non-attachment, I realized that there was only heartbreak when I tried to cling to people, things and situations. And I realized while I can’t control the results I want, I can control my response to the results. When I choose compassion, to myself and to others, it allows me to freely give of myself without expecting some desired result in return.
You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope. ~ Thomas Merton
For years, I carried this quote with me when I traveled and had it hung up in my office in a prominent place. I needed the reminder on a daily basis. After years of practice, I was able to embrace non-attachment. And I realized I did “not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going.” Finally!
I discovered attachment is what made me miserable. So often in my life, I stood in the way of my joy and I held myself in a position where I continued to suffer, because I was waiting for a particular response from an individual or situation.
Non-attachment allowed me to open up space in my life for so many things, specifically peace, joy and contentment. It allowed me to be open to possibility. My life at this moment is unlike anything I had planned, but it is sweeter than I could have imagined and incredibly rewarding. May you find that to be true in your life.