“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” ~Dalai Lama
Life will throw at you different experiences, some are positive and some you perceive as negative and unpleasant. When you hang on to a negative or unpleasant experience you are constantly thinking about it, widening your neuro-pathways in the brain and becoming attach to the script of your story. Neuroscience tells us the fastest and the most connected synaptic pathways are those we use and recall most often, like skiing down a slope of fresh powder snow the bigger the “tracks” the easier the skiing..
And when you constantly think about that negative event you prevent yourself from moving on and the negative stories blind you to your power to dream and create. It’s like having a negative thought-cloud above your head all day which follows you around. Do you get the feeling? Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
How many pleasant memories do you recall everyday? The average people has 60,000 thoughts per day and of these more than 80% are ‘negative’ or ‘moving away meta patterns’ dwelling on fixing problems so it’s not rocket science to become attached to your script and becoming the director, producer, lead-actor, designer, editor….which role do you enjoy best?
Steve Karpman’s well known life script in transactional psychology portrays the roles of Persecutor, Rescuer and Victim in psychological games.
The more emotional baggage you carry the worse life gets. Why? Because you’ve filled your mind up with negative experiences and you continually hang on to something that doesn’t allow you to move forward, in short, you’re carrying useless baggage that’s really slowing you down.
Think of it this way: you’re on a hiking trip and along the way you keep picking up heavy objects, things that really don’t serve you. After a while, these objects begin to slow you down, your backpack is getting heavy and unless you get rid of them, you’ll never complete your trip as depicted in the movie “Up in the Air” (2009) by George Clooney’s secondary job as a motivational speaker.
As legend goes, an Elder of the Apache Indian tribe was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A terrible fight is going on inside of me, and it is a struggle between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, greed, arrogance, hatred, intolerance, self-pity, false pride, regret and resentment.
The other wolf symbolizes peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, tolerance, courage, empathy, generosity, truth, forgiveness and compassion. The same fight is going on inside you, my children, and inside every other person, too.”
The grandchildren thought about the story for a while. Finally, one child asked, “Which wolf will win, Grandfather?”
The old man simply replied, “The one you feed.”
It took me a while to understand we are all capable of creating our own reality, our own path in life. We are contributing to creating this reality by our words, thoughts and actions – all of which carry their own energy, their own wavelengths. Everything is made up of energy as per quantum physics and the elementary particles of this energy behave both like particles and like waves – so this emotional baggage has an interconnected flow of energy and it reverberates and permeates like a cloud.
Ancient teachings from many cultures suggest that our physical bodies are surrounded by a Luminous Energy Field (LEF) that records every thought, word, and indeed directed at or generated by us. Emotional traumas (i.e. anxiety, depression) like bruises that are hit over and over, can leave deep imprints on our LEF. These imprints, when triggered by seemingly unrelated events, can cause us to relive old hurts or respond to situations or relationships in predictable, if unhealthy, patterns that are difficult to break or overcome.
Essentially, the LEF or bubble of energy surrounding each of us contains the blueprint for our physical bodies.
To let go is to look for areas in our lives where imbalance or disharmony may prevail in our thoughts, words, feelings, actions or beliefs and seek new ways of bringing harmony and congruence to our lives, the Andean principle of “ayni” harmony within or without or both.
One of the most important teachings of Zen Buddhism is non-attachment. The teaching of non-attachment may be easy to understand, but it is not easy to practice “The origin of suffering is attachment”. I see attachments as energetic cords that binds two individuals, two objects; like feeding tubes which you use to continuously nourish yourself with the sour milk of anger and resentment and if you don’t cut those toxic ties the scripts will replay again and again with a change of scenery and obviously characters.
When you stop trying to grasp, own, and control the world around you, you give it the freedom to fulfil you without the power to destroy you. That’s why letting go is so important: letting go is letting happiness in, a well described process in The Trance of Scarcity: Stop Holding Your Breath and Start Living Your Life from Victoria Castle.
It’s no simple undertaking to let go of attachment—not a one-time decision, like pulling off a band-aid. Instead, it’s a day-to-day, moment-to-moment commitment that involves changing the way you experience and interact with everything you instinctively want to grasp.
The good news is we already have all the “technology” we need to make the fundamental shift away.