Something that most of us have in common despite of our race, religion, gender, age, background, status, etc. It can be tangible or intangible. But whatever it is, it has this invisible glue that holds it well together with our identity, with or without our knowing.
What are the most obvious forms of attachments we can observe?
- Lovers who can't be torn apart.
- A strong belief to an idea.
- A sense of belonging to any material things.
- A job we have
- A status we have earned
- A reputation we have tried to build
But what happens when it's lost? Will you lose yourself in the process of losing "it"? Or will you be liberated as nothing will hold you back any longer? Will you give up on life or will you move on and find new meanings from other things?
It was the teaching of Buddha to be detached from stuffs (including living beings) to be able to reach nirvana but for us who have been brainwashed to the concept of ownership, this habit dies hard. It's not easy. And the fact is between attachment and detachment, there lies a very fine, fine line. How do we cross over to each side depends on our own sheer will power and self control.
I used to be so detached with the hatred I have towards the riots that happened to me in 1998 (during the Asian Financial crisis). It was a horrible experience where I was in the house which windows were stoned to pieces by the natives. I carried my hatred for at least a year and every time I saw a race that resembles to those who have ruined my belongings, I detested them. I didn't know this "attachment" to the feeling of hatred had made me so weary. And what do I gain for having this attitude? NOTHING! Not only I stained one race just because of few rotten apples, I was so delusional that I thought my hallucinations were my reality.
In fact I lost more. I didn't notice the beauty of possible opportunities should I have let go earlier. Yes, the event was horrible, but it doesn't mean I have to be a horrible person because of it. I've learned to embrace the diversity of opinions and perspectives and indeed there is not one way as the right way. If there is only one right theory for everything then till now we should believe that the sun is revolving our earth. Oh, how silly will that be?
I know the example that I've given above may not be similar with what you are holding to now. You may be holding on tightly to your loved one/s in which without them you feel empty. It's time to think for yourself, if they are really gone from the surface of earth, will you really be empty? Can you feel the void again with something else? Won't you loved one/s want you to move on and be a better person rather than grieving about them for lives and actually given up life just because of their departure?
When something is lost along the way, it's very normal to grieve and cry your heart out. But don't take too long. Give your heart and soul a break. If it's not for your own sanity sake, do give your loved one/s a break too. Don't you think he/she/they/it will feel the pain knowing that you can't let go of the attachment that is of no existence? Don't you think you deserve to be happy?
When you lose something you can't live without, you should not lose yourself. You should feel liberated not in the sense that you've been imprisoned all these while and it's the time you claim your freedom. But you should feel liberated because you are a better person than before. You are liberated from the old experiences and new things will come your way.
Take your time to sob but don't forget you deserve to be on top of your life. All will be well again and remember to smile because it has happened in your life.