I’ve been thinking about non-attachment lately. Is it possible to truly be non-attached in this life time? Without being a monk?
I practice non-attachment often. It works, up to a point. Sometimes I really feel non-attached to the words coming out of another person’s mouth. Or maybe the point is my emotions are not getting in the way of how their words hit my body. When I am in a good space, I feel like I am in a science experiment as this is happening. I used to recoil and react to people so easily. But when I can detach, people actually react differently to me. The argument doesn’t happen, and even though the moment of not reacting may have a weird silence to it, those seconds pass. And, magically, we are in a new place, talking about something else. I’m no longer stuck in a lot of old feelings.
But yet, certain circumstances always eventually call up hard emotions. Sometimes I am in the process of patting myself on the back as these feelings begin to rush in. Maybe I’m tired, or maybe I am just human. As a bean, perhaps non-attachment is just too hard. (I never tire of this bean joke. Annie pictures us as beans, the kind you eat, because we are human beings. What kind of bean are you? I change my mind about my bean varietal often.)
Take this common example. At the surface of my brain, I know I have not been invited to a party that’s about to happen. I’m O.K. with this. Then a friend mentions the party while acting like I am invited. Whoops. I’m not.
“What party?” I ask.
She divulges. It’s awkward. But I am still pretty pleasantly non-attached. After all, parties are not my forte. I have spent the past year or so saying no to lots of events that I would just rather not attend. I prefer to read a book, take a walk with a friend, or watch a movie with Chris. Not all the time. Sometimes I love a good get together. But still, the party-you-are-not-invited-to-conversation happens with enough grace. I’m looking forward to my day without a party.
My Saturday goes down well. At the end of it, I am completely worn out. This is not the time to look at Facebook and click through pictures of said party. When I am exhausted, non-attachment doesn’t work. And then, there is this: Not being asked to any celebration, even if the people hosting it are not your best friends, feels sad. Or maybe I’m not that good at non-attachment. If I were a monk, would I take a moment while looking at these pictures and pray that everyone person I see had a great time?
Or maybe the real point is that monks don’t look at Facebook?
I have an urge to be the most popular person in any room. That would be fantastic. Luckily, I have a stronger desire to keep working at non-attachment. I really do hope the people at said party enjoyed a rousing good time. And I’m glad I had yet another opportunity to unlock those old, tired feelings that began way back in grade school. I wasn’t invited to that fifth grade sleepover. I remember those moments of feeling completely deflated and worthless. I take that one right out and let myself feel so sad, and then I give myself a whole lotta love. I mean, isn’t that what we all want? When my girls are just so upset, often I want them to stop their crying. Then I take a good look at those lovely girls. Man, they need lots of hugs and loves. Especially right at that moment.
That moment of being not invited? It’s the perfect time to give myself some love, or to ask for it from someone else. Unless I have become a monk and I find myself perfectly unattached. I will let you know when that happens. I’ll probably be wearing a lovely orange robe, so you might already know. Orange is great color for me; it matches my aura. Pretty sure of that.