Being attached is what prevents us from seeing, it is what clouds this miraculous awareness. Geoffrey Shugen Arnold

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My friend Floyd was talking today about the impact of Negative Attachment on our lives and our mental health. This kind of Negative Attachment is an attachment to a negative thought or idea, something that pushes us, drives us, controls us.  This idea that attachment causes suffering is not a new one, it was one of the basic tenants of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths. It is hard to imagine how that applies to the big picture, what it means to our real lives. Floyd’s suggestion is that personalizing the attachment, speaking it, helps. I was amazed at how people opened up about this in the ensuing Facebook feed. There was a lot of talk about ideas of perfection and control which I am starting to view as pretty much a universal norm, certainly with the majority of me female friends, although I think the guys suffer from it too, just less openly.   Floyd suggested starting with the statement “My attachment to the idea that…is causing me suffering” and going from there and let me tell you once I had the opening salvo the rest of it just kept pouring out. It is amazing really how much of my self view is from the dark side of the looking glass. But for me the statement with the most resonance was this “My attachment to the idea that if people really knew the REAL me they wouldn’t like me is causing me suffering.”   What an awful thought to have about one’s self. It is time for letting go of perfectionism, it is time let go of self flagellation and doubt. I don’t know where to start but I know that it’s time. If I continue living so that other people will think I am smart or funny or worthy then I am never going to find the kind of happiness that I am looking for.  If a person doesn’t like me because I don’t have a degree, or where I work or because I am over weight that says more about them than about me. Now if I can only convince my heart the same thing. What is your negative attachment? Where are you going to start in turning that around?

Feb17

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