Sunday, January 11, 2015

When We Get Attached...

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Getting attached is natural. I don't care how spiritually evolved you are, how many hours you sit on the meditation cushion or yoga mat, or how many self-help books you have on your shelves. If you are anything like me, in the realm of being a human being having an experience on this planet, most likely, you get attached sometimes. You get attached to people, relationships, how meals should be, how your body should look, how your partner makes love to you, what traffic should be like, what the weather should be like, how your phone should work a certain way, how others should write their e-mails, how your waiter should greet you...blah, blah, blah.

The start of 2015 has actually been quite clunky for me and as I reflect on the past eleven days, I can really see that 99.9% of my upset comes out of...wait for it...drum roll...ATTACHMENT!

Let's take a trip back in time to the holidays and New Year's Eve. The Man came down with a pretty icky bronchial infection which made him turn into crappy man. He felt like shit, therefore I felt like shit because I wanted him to not feel like shit. And in that moment, I made a decision about living in what should be versus how things were for real. And then came my upset. Oh man...I was pissed off! I wanted a romantic Christmas holiday season with sipping hot cocoa on our couch looking at our tree, playing games, laughing and being silly, and cuddling...oh I wanted the cuddling.

And then New Year's...he was stuck in bed. I was was 8:30, he was basically dead to the world asleep and I was like, "WTF?!" It's New Years!" I wanted us to be out to dinner, maybe watching the fireworks from some street up on Queen Anne and then rushing home for more hot drinks and cuddling. Well, here is how it actually went...I threw my clothes into a heaping pile in the office, got into yoga pants, my favorite sweater that I acquired from the thrift store last year that I wear pretty much all winter, and my socks. I then walked into the kitchen, opened the freezer door, dug out some pretzel bites and potstickers, (Thanks Costco!) and heated those suckers up. I poured myself leftover prosecco from Christmas and then went into the bedroom and fired up the Hulu on the laptop. I then proceeded to catch up on all episodes of Modern Family and made myself pretty ill from inhaling these processed frozen snack foods. I shoved the laptop off my lap, took out my book, read for about an hour, looked at the clock, saw it was 11:33pm, and said to myself, "Well, that wasn't what I had in mind," turned off the light, and went to sleep.

And you know what? The next morning was just like any other morning. Yeah, it was a New Year, but it wasn't this earth shattering thing. I didn't really regret how I spent the night before. Yeah, it was the only New Year's Eve that I didn't make it until midnight in my adult life, but who cares?
The lesson for me from all of this is that when we get attached to how things should be, how people should act, or how things should look, it comes from a sense of fear, maybe a bit of insecurity, but most certainly, a place of not knowing. I know for myself, I have been working for years with this idea. Trying so hard to not be attached but it just gets me more attached to not being attached! So, when in doubt, I have been finding some tried and true strategies for dealing with this attachment beast...

1. Don't beat yourself up for getting attached. It's the whole human experience thing and it's okay. Putting on the self sabotage suit doesn't make it any easier. I promise.

2. Express yo'self! I love this whole idea about complaining with perspective. Find your bestie to vent with. Yes, in the grand scheme of the world and everything humanity is dealing with, the issue is maybe not as life threatening as other things going on, AND, it's what you are facing in the moment and it is tough. Get feels better.

3. When I took my Landmark education series, I absolutely loved the whole distinction on Upsets. The curriculum says that upsets come in the form of three areas in life:
1. Thwarted Intentions: I was out to do something, and it did not go the way I planned.
2. Undelivered Communication: enough said.
3. Unfulfilled Expectations: Been there, done that.

Needless to say, we all have ideas in our heads about how things should go and how people should act. It's okay when it doesn't and it's even okay to be upset about it. The real key though is to be open and receptive to what's on the other side...that is where the real magic is and if we can all sit with that for even a bit, walking in the world becomes maybe just a bit easier.

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