78 Relax and Succeed - In the end just three things matterI hear you all over the place. I hear you in coffee shops. I hear you where you work. I hear you out with your friends at the Farmer’s Market, or in a park with your dog. You’ll be happy when. When this happens, or when that happens. When this person does this, or that person does that. When you obtain this object or person, or when someone else loses some object or person. When you accomplish this thing or stop that thing. When you have more money, when you have more time, when you have have have….

There is a stick tied to your head and out in front of you dangles a carrot. No matter how long you chase that carrot, you will not catch it because it is only an extension of the thoughts in your head. Because you’re looking for happiness outside yourself, you feel you have to go and get something before you’ll be happy. So when you get your latest carrot, you’ll immediately notice it didn’t make you happy and you’ll immediately begin looking for a new carrot to chase.

Do you see how single-minded you are? How focused on only one path, one set of signposts for success? You don’t want happiness with any other person, you want happiness with a specific person. You don’t want happiness because you have shoes on your feet, you will only be happy if you have specific shoes on your feet. You want just the right food, just the right traffic, just the right attitude from your clerk. You’re essentially a big baby that wants a bunch of stuff and if you don’t get it, then the whole room is going to pay.

78a Relax and Suceed - You must be willing to let goOkay, be like that every now and again. But don’t live that way. There’s no need, and it’s agonizing. It’s like being a kid in a big yard full of amazing toys, but all of the other kids have convinced you to crawl through a narrow, dark tube where you can’t even see any other sources of joy other than the one you’re chasing.

You have to stop wanting things and people as sources of happiness, and you have to start understanding that happiness itself is the source of happiness. You don’t live some kind of good or successful life and then get some happiness. By being happy with whatever comes your way, you live a life full of happiness—and that is what a truly good and successful life looks like.

So what are you attached to? What is your happiness currently dependent on? Pay attention to your thoughts and you’ll discover what your ego has convinced you to need. Maybe it’s someone’s forgiveness. Maybe it’s someone’s apology. Maybe it’s a symbol of status or wealth. Maybe it’s a weight, or maybe a certain brand of clothes that you imagine everyone else would approve of.

78 Relax and Succeed - This isn't giving upWhatever it is, it will exist in language in your mind. It will be a conversation you have with yourself. That’s how that illusion will appear real—you will repeatedly talk it into existence within your own imagination. That is the only place that it will reside and it won’t relate to any other person but you. Only you create your ego for your self.

So quiet that wanting voice. Open your eyes. Look not for what you want, but what’s available. Because to a wise person, society looks like a large group of blind-folded people all standing among each other, with everyone wandering around arguing with each other about the source of a cure for their loneliness.

You are not alone. You are only attached to something. Let that go and join us in peace. Forgo your barrier-like ego conversations in favour of the quiet openness of true love. Or in other words, stop searching, take off your blindfold, and just embrace whoever’s closest to you.

Have a wonderful day.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

7 thoughts on “Let Go of Your Attachments

  1. I am notorious for having inner conversations. I am always, always, always searching for something new and I am never satisfied. I just moved to Dublin a little over two months ago in the spirit of this search. I thought that maybe if I went somewhere else and saw different things I’d find a way to be happy. Turns out I’m doing exactly the same thing here that I was doing back home: a job I don’t like, living in fear, waiting for something to make me feel alive. In truth, I’ve felt lost ever since I finished university about 2 years ago. A degree in Drama doesn’t give as much opportunity as I’d hoped, but maybe that too is very limited thinking and I just need to actually be more creative in my thinking. And let go of what others think is acceptable (boy, is that ever hard and is what got me into this mess in the first place).
    I didn’t think I’d write a comment when I clicked the link to read this post, but I was compelled. I’m just so very tired of being in unrest.

    1. I was quite surprised to revisit this post and see your comment. You have my sincere apologies that I didn’t respond when you wrote it. I’m not sure how that happened. That said, this makes it interesting: you’ll be a different person three years later. Not that you necessarily have to share it here, but how do you feel about this same period of time looking at it now, in a larger context? I wish you every good fortune going forward. I’m sure you have all you need to have a rich and rewarding life. Enjoy.

      peace. s

    2. Funnily enough, now I too have not responded to a comment directed at me until much later! I was actually just talking with a friend over dinner tonight about how much I’ve changed as a person since being in Dublin four years ago (four years!). I definitely recognize the person who wrote the original comment but she has grown so much since then. I now don’t think that restlessness was necessarily a bad thing as I did then. In fact, I think that restlessness prompted me to finally go out and make more changes. I started searching out volunteering opportunities where I could do things I loved. I joined a free 6 week mental health program. I met new friends, played music on the street and in bars, and traveled, teaching myself how to be brave. That experience turned out to be one of the best of my life and as a result I’ve been able to continue to be brave and take each new direction my life takes with the trust that I’m having each experience for a reason, whether it feels great in that moment or not.

      Interestingly enough, the number one lesson I learned while in Dublin was what you wrote at the end of your comment: You already possess everything you need in order to be successful (and joyful).

    3. That was terrific to read. As I suspected, you weren’t lost you were just “on your way” to where you are now, which is obviously a much better place. Remember that the next time you’re questioning yourself. Always ask yourself, what if this isn’t the wrong place, what if this is the perfect place? If you imagine you and your life from that perspective you start seeing your opportunities and not what’s “missing,” and that leads us to those opportunities rather than to hurt ourselves by thinking wanting thoughts. I’m very happy for you! And enjoy Dublin. I loved it when I when I visited when I was living fort a while in Belfast.

    4. Thanks for your kind wishes! I actually am not in Dublin anymore, though as you said it was the perfect place to be at the time and got me to choose my next perfect place, which happened to be Ottawa for 2 years. Now I’m back in the Edmonton area, seeing what being here will bring. All the best!

    5. Well, Edmonton is also an awesome city, so you just keep moving from one great experience to another. Good for you. Keep it up. And all the best to you too.

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