Are you sure you really want to change? Do you truly want real transformation in your life? I’m actually asking myself these questions in regards to some parts of myself. I can’t change some things while holding on to other unhealthy ways and think that I can be a whole and fully integrated being. I’m asking these questions because I wonder why change isn’t occurring the way I want it to in these areas if I have such a strong desire for it. There’s a difference between wanting change and being willing to let go of what doesn’t serve in order for change to take place. If I’m not changing particular ways of showing up in the world, I must be getting something out of it that holds me in the comfort of that behavior. Maybe a momentary feeling of power and control, or attention I seek, or the filling of some emotional void inside. The problem is that it’s exactly what I said, a momentary pay off, a temporary acquisition of what I want. It slips through my fingers leaving me either feeling guilty and ashamed or empty.
It’s the difference between the authentic experience of those feelings because they come from within, and the temporary experience of those feelings because they come from without. Anything we try to create from the external world in order to experience something we want in our internal world will always be a disappointment and never a lasting thing. Creation comes from within, and that kind of creation is everlasting because it is always within us, never dependent on any outward circumstance. For example, I can create an authentic sense of power from my knowledge and experience of myself as an inherently worthy being who co-creates my life experience based on my inner beliefs. When I have that sense of power, I don’t go looking for ways to get a little shot of power by manipulating things in my world. I would have no need to be reactionary or to get people to be any different than they are. I would actually have no need for anything to be any different than what it is. This is non-attachment, and as someone who has spent a lot of time trying to control how life goes, it is something I would really like to be able to do.
So, when I say I wonder why change isn’t coming, and maybe some of you are wondering that as well for yourselves, I am seeing that attachment is at the root of it. Attachment to a long held belief or thought system, attachment to other people’s behavior needing to be what I want it to be, attachment to a resentment or unforgiveness, attachment to life playing out according to my plan. Non-attachment gives us a doorway to transform through its lack of dependency or expectation. Non-attachment allows me to love someone without needing anything from them in return, including a particular reaction or behavior. When I’m attached, I think I need them to do things a particular way so that I can feel powerful and in control which I falsely believe will lead me to some state of inner happiness. I’m hinging my feelings on their behavior. It’s a recipe for disaster and keeps me stuck in a pattern of behavior which is toxic to myself and to those around me. Non-attachment to someone’s behavior comes from a full sense of power within, which makes it unnecessary to engage in toxic behavior.
I admit that I find this extremely challenging, particularly with my children. I am sure that I need them to do this or that or behave a particular way. I am also very aware that this is my unhealed stuff and has nothing to do with them. I thank them for being around to bring it up for me to heal. I have never been more conscious of myself than I have been since becoming a parent. It is always in my face! My attachment to their behavior robs me of my joy with myself and with them. I want to change it so I am able to react differently to them when they aren’t doing what I want. I have to give up the comfort of my shot of power and, instead, learn to build an inner experience of power that stays with me always. Believe me, this is not convenient for me at all. The other way seems easier. Only it isn’t. It’s detrimental to the well being of my family.
Non-attachment is really the only way to create lasting happiness inside. People and events will always present us with aspects that we can’t control. When we stay unattached to it all, our happiness stays intact. We’re even able to do whatever needs to be done within the situation in a much more impactful and effective way, usually leaving us free of shame and guilt over our behavior. This is a recipe for sweet self-love and self-respect.
This is my lesson for the week. I hope it helps you as well in some way. Wishing you lasting happiness!