One of my life coaching clients was very distraught over the belief that he would never be able to attract a life mate. In fact, he was obsessed with it. So I asked him why he believes this. He explained that he had been through a couple of rejections when asking people for a date (who hasn’t). I explained why, based on statistics alone, his belief was not valid. I then went on to explain how the process of attachment and identification works. These ego offending rejection experiences had planted the seeds for this belief, which he bought into and continued to feed energy. This attachment, and in this case full blown identification, was influencing his three reality building blocks. His body language communicated lack of confidence. He continued to repeat this lie to himself, thinking it over and over. I suspect that when he did approach a potential date that all of this “I can’t attract a mate” energy was also being communicated in his speech. He came to understand that as long as he continued to subscribe to this belief (remain attached to it) in all likelihood he would ensure that reality. With some work and exercises he began to sever that attachment. His body posture changed. His focus on the negative was redirected. His life began to change rather quickly. Moral of the story – our attachments can literally destroy us.
Forming attachments is part of the human condition. We all do it. It’s natural. But remember, natural doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. All mushrooms are natural. You’d better be clear about which ones you’re going to eat. Same holds true for forming attachments.
It seems there is a lot of energy right now around letting go of material attachments. I’ve seen all kinds of books and blogs and even courses on how to clean out your closet or declutter your house. This is certainly a good practice. So many of us tend to just collect stuff. We have all that stuff we bought that seemed like a good idea at the time; until it didn’t. But we’re not sure if we want to part with it because we’re betting there’s a good chance we just might need it on some rare occasion in the future. So, we find a place to stash it. Most of us have that room that looks like a tornado hit the flea market. The books and blogs on this topic all emphasize how good and liberating it felt to get rid of all that clutter.
Now as difficult as it may seem at times, letting go of material things is really pretty easy. However, it is most often our non-material attachments that cause us the most serious trouble. And often we don’t even realize they exist. Why is that? Because they have been around so long that we no longer notice them, like that smell in your house that everyone else detects but you’ve grown accustomed to it. It almost doesn’t even exist for your perceptions anymore.
Attachments are limitless. You can form attachments to anything. If you can think it, perceive it, or believe it, you can become attached to it.
So, what’s the plan?
The first thing is to try to take stock of attachments that are no longer serving us well, like that pair of pants in your closet that you will most likely never wear again. Not only are you probably not going to fit into them, but they are likely completely outdated as well. Bring awareness to the attachments that may be getting in our way, like negative beliefs about ourselves, our ability to succeed and achieve our goals, and so forth. Beliefs about money, hard work, certain types of people, etc. There is no limit. Your attachments are your own. No one can ferret them out for you. Pay attention. They will show up in your thoughts. They will show up in your words. They will show up in your actions. Once you have identified an attachment, ask the all-important question. Based on how I would like my life to be, is this helping me or hurting me. If cleaning out a closet feels empowering, imagine what cleaning out junk like this will do for you.