I hope you believe in yourself as much as I believe in you.

— Anonymous

Attachment – Detachment

Emotional bonding.
Attachment refers to an emotional bonding, say between two people, where the element of dependency is present in the relationship. The need for attachment does not necessarily abate as we mature.

A lack of self-acceptance.
A person attached to another identifies his happiness with that person, meaning he projects the cause of his happiness outside himself. This always indicates lack of self-acceptance — which is self-denial.

Separation anxiety.
Adult attachment is similar to child attachment where anxiety can result at being separated from the mother.

Attachments to beliefs.
Many people are so attached to what they already believe that they insist that everyone who disagrees with them is wrong.

Attachment to being right.
Many scientists differ in their opinions on how the universe operates, and yet the universe still operates independent of our opinions about it. Man’s theories of right or wrong do not impact on the universe. The universe simply is the way it is.

Attachment to winning.
If we play competitively and our opponent scores more points or “wins,” what have we really lost? We simply went out and played a game. Having nothing at the start of the game, we lost nothing. An attachment to wining means we are the score or the performance. Suffering results when we see ourselves as having lost something.

Attachment to money.
If you feel you must have money in order to feel happy and successful, you are attached to money.

Attachments to opinions.
We must learn how to detach ourselves from our attachments to other people’s opinions and how we are perceived by others. Many of us have grown up believing what we do really matters. Then we worry about how it will be perceived. We focus on external opinions, and consequently cannot simply be.

The middle way.
If you maintain equal detachment to both pleasantness and unpleasantness, both conditions will work themselves out, and you will have balance. A lack of extreme anguish and a lack of extreme elation. You will have equanimity. The middle way is one sure way to true happiness.

Stillness.
Stillness comes only when there is detachment from everything, whether it be confusion or peace, sadness or happiness. Detach yourself from the need to hold on to things and people. Every attachment is an impediment to living in a higher state of awareness and happiness.

Demanding conformity.
Unconditional love allows your partner the freedom to be unlike you, whereas attachment demands they conform to your needs and desires. Unconditional love imposes no demands. Attachment expresses an overriding demand— “Make me feel whole!”
Unconditional love expands beyond the limits of two people. Attachment tries to exclude everything but two people. Controlling equates to attachment. Allowing equates to non-attachment.

How can you enjoy the moment if you continually live for the future?
Some people become so attached to their demands of accumulating more wealth for their future, that they forget to live in the present.

Are you the owner or are you owned?
Most people pride the things they own, but most are in fact owned by their possessions—by their attachment to possessions. In fact, we never really “own” anything — we are more like temporary custodians.

Nothing is owned forever.
All things are in transition. All things are circulating, landing in our laps for us to enjoy momentarily and then they get back out and about, recirculating for someone else to enjoy. Everything that was “owned” by a person some years ago is now serving someone else. The land, the car, the house that was thought to be owned is now serving others.

An addiction for “more.”
If you are the sort of person who needs “more” in order to feel complete, then you will still feel incomplete even when you have acquired “more.”

Possessions as symbols.
Many people consider possessions to be extensions of themselves, symbols of their self worth. Viewed in this manner, no possession is neutral, but a symbol of its owner. So strongly has this principle been embraced, that property is often treated as being of equal value as life itself. So ingrained is this attitude in society that its become a case of — who we are is often seen as what we have!

It’s a matter of perspective.
The more riches we develop within, the less we need riches without.

A parent is a guide.
Who can step into a child’s mind? Not even a parent can. No one is allowed to trespass there, and it would be the height of arrogance for parents to think they could change their children’s thoughts and feelings. No parent has that right, because children, like adults, shape their own lives with their own free will. A parent is a guide, no more, no less. If you strongly feel responsible for everything the child experiences, you are standing in the way of his or her own personal development. Nothing encumbers a child more than parental attachment.

Seek only the truth.
Attachment comes from not knowing the truth, and attachment is the very thing that keeps us from the truth. People attach themselves to the past and the future, to material things, to social status and to authority. They attach themselves to their spouse, their children, to land, property or riches. When you have released your attachments, your mind will be free from the suffering that addictions bring.

Observe your doubt rather than own it.
Doubt is produced by the ego. Doubt is not a part of your true self. With this awareness you can choose to observe your doubt rather than own it. Use your capacity to detach yourself from doubt and watch how it enters your inner world. Then watch how doubt literally forces you to act in predetermined and limited ways. This act of detached observation will in itself cause doubt to fade away.

Become the observer.
Begin now to observe things about you and your life. Observe your behavior. Observe your driving habits. Remind yourself that there definitely is an activity called observing, and it includes the observer as well as that which is being observed. Concentrate on being the observer and getting accustomed to going to this place in your consciousness more frequently in your daily life. Observation creates an awareness of your various addictive demands. At this level of awareness you are better able to respond to situations rather than habitually react. By observing from the aspect of a silent witness you are able to passively detach yourself from the drama and its limiting emotions. From this aspect, you are not the event, you are that which is observing it.

See the event without identifying with it.
Being a detached witness does not mean being emotionless. It simply means being free of immobilizing emotions. By becoming a silent witness, you do not become passive or uncaring. You become the observer who sees what is happening for what it is. Free of the drama and its emotions, you are better able to see solutions too. Events are meaningless until the mind allocates an emotion-driven reaction to the event. Most emotions are based on a collection of habits and memories — a set of learned responses to a particular thought pattern. While the emotion-driven ego-mind will evaluate the event, the higher self allows it to unfold free of judgment.

Tools of communication.
You have a body. You own your body but you are not your body. If you make the mistake of believing you are your body, anyone can upset you by making an unflattering remark about your body. You have a mind. You own your mind, but you are not your mind any more than you are the fearful thoughts produced by your mind. Your body and mind are tools of communication through which your real self expresses itself in the physical world.

Discover the big secret.
Being the silent witness lets you in on the big secret; you are not your problems, your frustrations or even your physical experience of life. You are that which is observing it all.

Body and soul.
We are more used to thinking we are a body with a soul than we are to realizing we are a soul with a body. Many people think we are human beings learning to be spiritual. In truth we are spiritual beings learning to be human.

Sources:  http://members.optusnet.com.au/~acceptance/ACourseInHappiness%20-%20Sabine/APhilososophyToLiveBy.htm#Attachment

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