The Law of Detachment

The Buddhist teaching that I most struggle with is that of detachment. This is how Deepak Choprah and David Simon explain this great paradox in their book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga:

In order to acquire something in this world, you have to relinquish your attachment to it. This doesn’t mean you give up your intention to fulfill your desire–you simply give up you attachment to the outcome.

The book goes on to remind us that attachment stems from fear and insecurity. The only true security we can have is to embrace the uncertain and unknown. Once we do that, we can discover our true potential.

As an upper middle class American who was taught that if I worked hard enough I could–and would–achieve that which I set out to accomplish, I find this teaching very difficult to embrace. And yet I recognize that only by embracing this teaching will I ever be truly, effortlessly, happy.

And so I shall set out to attain this mindset.

I’ve found myself in one of those deep and long valleys that those of us who live with depression often find ourselves in. I know these valleys well; this one is not remarkably deep and while I can’t see the end I doubt it will be insufferably long. I know that with some work and time I will climb out of this place.* I just need to be patient and patience is one skill I’ve actually learned a thing or two about in the last few difficult years.

In the meantime I want to make the most of my scarce free time. I aim to do things that nourish me–mentally, emotionally and physically. I want to move, ever so slowly, toward my goals, even as I relinquish my attachment to achieving them.

In that vein I’m going to take a break from this blog and focus on my new space. I have floundered there, since its inception, but now I truly understand its purpose and I want to cultivate that space into something I can be proud of, something I feel compelled to share.

So I will be writing at my new space, trying to find myself there. I believe I have a unique and interesting point of view and I want to share my ideas, hopefully in a way that promotes thought provoking conversation. I feel the posts I’ve written there so far lack my true voice but I’m going to change that. This new space will be as much a reflection of me as this blog is, the focus will just be a bit different.

In fact, the focus of this blog is one of the reasons I feel the need to step away. Right now I can’t obsess over the holding patterns in my life, I need to move forward despite not being sure where I’m headed. And right now this space, and the blogs in my reader, bring me back to those holding patters, keeping me trapped in vicious, self destructive cycles. They are not helping me get unstuck, so I have to step away.

I will be back here for the Bringing Up Bebe book club in mid May and I look very much forward to that. Besides that post, and participating in book club related comments, I think I’m going to step away from the blogosphere for a bit, at least this  corner of it. I will be thinking of everyone, hoping the best for them, especially those who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.  I promise, if something in my life resolves itself and I have any news to share I’ll post about it here.

I supposed I’ll be posting links to my other space, with a quick summary of what I’m discussing. Hopefully my unique perspective will be interesting enough that you’ll follow me there. If not, that’s cool too.

And so begins my journey to, well an appreciate of the journey, and a release on my desire to reach the destination.

Om Anandham Namah

My actions are blissfully free from attachment to outcome.

*As someone who has dealt with depression for the better part of my adult life, I know that clinical depression is not something that can be sorted out with time, patience and an inspired perspective. I do not recognize myself to be in a bout of clinical depression currently, though I know it could eventually become that. Please know that if it does–and I will recognize it if it happens–I will seek the medical treatment I need.

6 responses

  1. Well, I will sure miss you here, but I know what you mean. I, too, have been wondering lately whether blogging is causing me to focus more on my problems rather than to move forward. I have read your other blog a couple of times and enjoyed it, but i keep forgetting to add it to my reader. I guess this will be the incentive I need to actually do it!

  2. Noooooooo! 😦 I mean, I understand what you’re doing and totally support you ineverything you want. BUT, I love SG. I will miss it. I suspect I am far from the only one…

    I will of course follow you to P & P. And anywhere else you choose to go.

  3. Oh, I’m going to miss you writing here. This is my favorite blog. But I understand, and thankfully will have your other blog to read 🙂 And yes, please keep us posted on all that’s going on in your life! Love you!

  4. What a beautiful excerpt and thought-provoking post to leave us with. I wish you the best and I will have to check out your new space.

  5. I think the most important step is recognizing your needs and meeting them — that’s the first step towards detaching and maybe the hardest one to reach. It’s like being on base camp at Everest. Excited to see the new space build.

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