Been forced to do quite a bit of thinking and evaluating lately about ATTACHMENT and AUTONOMY and CONTROL. Well…i feel like these thoughts have been all consuming for a while, but even more intensely the last 3 weeks or so.
ATTACHMENT (defined): a feeling that binds one to a person, thing, cause, ideal or the like.
Why do we get so attached to things or ideas or causes? Why does it feel so torturous when the “string” is cut, so to speak? Sure, it’s super easy to just keep thinking, “just let go, just let go”, but when you feel like the thing or ideal is as much a part of you as your arm or leg, it’s hard to “let go.”
When the “string is cut”, it DOES feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath and of course, all hell breaks loose inside. No one likes that feeling. Of course, Pema Chodron, the great buddhist nun author has a field day with the whole rug thing:
“Everything is changing all the time and we keep wanting to pin it down. to fix it. So whenever you come up with a solid conclusion, let the rug be pulled out. You can pull out your own rug and you can also let life pull it out for you. Having the rug pulled out from under you is a big opportunity to change your DNA. One way to pull out your own rug is by letting go, lightening up, being more gentle and not making such a big deal.”
Whew. Gosh, why does it sound so easy?
And then there’s this whole thing about Autonomy!
Autonomy (defined): Independence or Freedom
Well, that’s been me in a nutshell. If you ask anyone in my life to describe me, INDEPENDENT, is most likely a word that would come up. I didn’t just get that way last year or 5 years ago. I have been that way my ENTIRE life. First by circumstances and then buy choice.
If you see a wild and free animal out and about doing their thing and then all of a sudden, they become captured and are forced to live in a cage, you can probably guess that said animal is not happy. Might become angry, might “fight” against and with their captors. And then who knows, all hell might break loose. Makes perfect sense. For the first time, I finally get what all the hoopla is about regarding endangered species. I do. I understand. More than I want to.
And then there is this thing about CONTROL! So, I guess I have discovered how much of a control freak I can be. Let me just say I have NEVER EVER described myself as such in the past. But, the events of the past month or so have shined the light so ever brightly on this oh-so-endearing characteristic that I was nearly blinded. In fact, I may have been blinded for a few hours due to the stinging “headlight” in my face. As I think about autonomy and control, i can’t help but wonder if the two go hand in hand. Are independent people more controlling than others? Hmmm…
So, Controlling+Autonomy+Attachment is what I am wrestling with. The bight lights, the full length mirror are in my face, following me around. I need to be the humble student, but it’s not easy.
You know…I’ve actually prided myself all along on being very good with attachment stuff…HA. Who knew that my work was not attachment to a person but to a thing, a process, an ideal…
(THUMP) Did you hear that? That was my ass hitting the ground as the rug just got pulled out from under me.