04 Sep Losing what you cling to
“You only lose what you cling to.”
For many of us the thought of losing what we cling to may sound more like a threat than an opportunity.
Buddha teaches us that clinging to something brings with it suffering and loss, often the last thing we want and likely the biggest thing we fear.
We could spend much time trying to trick the universe by pretending not to cling while at the same time scheming to sink our invisible hooks into something.
Which would be completely human … and completely futile.
We would be much better off if we could find a way to appreciate everything that surrounds us, including people and still get ok with the thought that at some point, everything will leave.
Or we will leave.
It makes getting and staying organized much easier, which is probably a bonus beyond what the Buddha was thinking when he first taught this lesson.
I’m guessing he was speaking on a deeper, metaphysical level.
Fortunately for us, clutter and disorganization can easily be rolled up into this principle.
Take a quick scan around you.
What do you see that you would be upset to lose?
What do you see that when you look at it, you start to feel uneasy?
Isn’t it interesting that the things that are supposed to make our lives more comfortable, more convenient or beautiful can also cause us grief?
Things can upset us.
And yet they aren’t doing anything TO upset us.
It’s all in our minds.
What would it feel like to be grateful for the many things that surround you and at the same time let go of the need for them to always be around?
After the initial clutching at your chest or in your belly as you imagine losing something … hopefully you start to see what you gain.
Life is hard, no doubt. There are challenges every day that require our attention, care and participation, regardless of how we feel.
But life is not built to be torture.
Stuff is not meant to be torturous.
Ghandi once taught that whenever we get something new, we should immediately imagine it broken.
That frees us up to enjoy it now and no longer fear the ineveitable.
Seems a great way to cling less and love more.