Originally posted on Facebook HERE
I started reading a book yesterday called Stop Fixing Yourself by Anthony De Mello. In it he basically states that the one and only thing that causes unhappiness is attachment. An attachment, by its very nature, makes you vulnerable to emotional turmoil and is always threatening to shatter your peace. Not sure I ever looked at it that way, but he makes a good case for it. We get attached to people, places, things, outcomes… and basically everything in life is transient. It can all be taken away at any time. People can die. Places can be destroyed. Things can break or be stolen from us. Outcomes – well, when you get that person, or job, or thing you’ve always wanted… the happiness is fleeting. Because after a while there will always be a next thing, and another. What do we worry about the most? What creates the most anxiety and heartbreak? The things we’re attached to. Our families, our jobs, our stuff. Our health. To really be at peace, we’d need to be able to watch it all go away and be happy through it all. Not many people ever get to that place at all. Most of us probably don’t even want to – we love our attachments, that’s the whole reason we’re even attached in the first place. So we live our lives concerned about everything we’re attached to – our families, our jobs, our schedules, our health, what’s going on in every area, and all the things we own, and what needs to be replaced or repaired, and where is inner peace ever going to fit in? What if instead we just got right with God first, and realized that everything is a blessing and that none of it is really ours to own or control in any way? What if we got to a place where we could give away our most prized possession to someone else without a sense of loss? It was never really ours to begin with. We never lose when we give something away. The richest people I know are wealthy within themselves, it has nothing to do with money or possessions. Somehow, when we realize that nothing is ever really ours to own or control, then we start to see that endless possibilities are available, because when we are good within ourselves first and really know and understand that life is fleeting, we can be truly grateful for every moment no matter what happens. When we seek happiness as a destination, it eludes us. I’ve seen this quote attributed to many people, but most often Thich Nhat Hanh: “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” Perhaps the less attached we are, the happier we’ll be along the journey.