“You only lose, what you cling to”.
Rightly stated by Buddha, this quote has the ability to give direction to our lives. We often find ourselves in miserable conditions where nothing seems more important than our ongoing disturbing thoughts, where we can’t stop crying and expressing our grief in the worst way possible. The world seems bleak and life seems unimportant! If you have ever felt that way, remember you had become emotionally attached.
Emotional attachment means a lack of freedom because you tie yourself to people, possession, habits, and beliefs, and avoid change and anything new. Excess of emotional attachments results in an inability to let go, even if that attachment is doing more harm than good. We might have come across situations when people are in a bad relationship and suffering, feeling miserable but they are unable to end it because of attachment. When there is an emotional attachment to materialistic comfort, a person is not able to discard or give away the things which are no longer useful. It also shows up when we have to make changes in our life because of our occupation and relocate to an unfamiliar place.
As humans, we tend to confuse what is healthy and unhealthy when it comes to our emotions. Therefore, let me make the difference clear here.
The damage done because of getting ourselves attached is often difficult to mitigate and can be harsh on the self. This is because the object or the person of attachment becomes the “center” of our lives. We become obsessed with them.
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Our thoughts, actions, decisions, schedules, feelings revolve around them. We get stuck and end up in circles. We don’t feel free, fulfilled, worthy. It harms our self- esteem and shakes our confidence. With people, we may feel we constantly need to prove ourselves, fight for a special place in their lives, need to take their approval on our being, etc. With things, we go into “addiction”. The moment we don’t have them, we feel something is lacking, we feel sad, we feel less, we feel unmotivated, and we feel lost.
And this why developing healthy attachments is very important as the world is currently a place that propagates the idea of self-indulgence, affection for materialistic fame, and attachment to technology that often harms more people. Therefore, the need of the hour is to focus on building healthy attachments. If you feel that you have an unhealthy attachment to something or someone, you can fix it. Here’s how:
And in the end, just believe in the principle of ‘letting go’. Involvement is necessary but clinging on makes one feel pressured. Let your strings detach and don’t solely depend on them or pull them too tightly. Life is a beautiful journey in discovering your own self rather than being governed by attachments.
This article is written by Manasi Baindur, Priya Shukla, and Murali Krishna who are providing online counselling support in their Mental Health Internship Program.