You are working on yourself, investing in your inner being, developing a sense of purpose and a strong identity. Everything is going well, except you cannot seem to reach that thing you want most. That job is in a far off city, that man is married, the bank won’t qualify you for that new home. What is happening when you are growing, expanding, creating peace within, but everything around you seems to be saying No? I know I am bigger, better, wiser, but those things I am striving for always seem out of my reach. I often get asked by women, “I know I have put in the work on myself, I just traveled around the world in 80 days and competed my MBA at the same time, but that job I want, and that man I want are nowhere to be seen”.
Well, what’s happening on your inside? What are you fixated upon, what are you attached to, what situations, people, or beliefs are you refusing to let go of? That powerful job you always wanted won’t be yours if your roots are firmly planted in your small town, and you are codependently still attached to your mother with an umbilical cord. You won’t leave her. You won’t have that amazing, giving, loving man, if you are attached to feelings of pain of an old lover. You might think that your high flying lifestyle and that new degree make you a match for success and a bigger paycheck, but you are not. You are very much on the level of whatever you are attached to.
We are all attached to something or someone. Many of us are not aware that we are attached to painful situations, that we carry other people’s burdens, that we are stuck on beliefs we acquired in childhood that do not serve us at all. Why are we so surprised when years later, we are still surrounded by same stuff, same people, repeating patterns? We want to race forward, but something is dragging us behind, like an anchor. That anchor is all your attachments.
I have recently been working on my attachments. I wrote about this a few times- the art of non-attachment as a meditational practice, but also a daily practice of not emotionally attaching myself to people, objects of value, old beliefs. I noticed in my meditation that some old ideas are playing like a broken record in my head. These are like background noises that have always been there, that I kept ignoring. Then it dawned on me, these repetitive old thoughts are my attachments. Attachments are just energetic blockages, the obstacles that prevent us from receiving whatever we are reaching for.
Yes, it is very important to cultivate a Self, to practice inner balance, to continuously expand our knowledge of ourselves as we relate to the world, but none of those efforts will guide us down our path if we are anchored into place by attachments.
Here’s an attachment: I always wanted to go back to Europe for a couple of years, but always believed that I can’t because of my elderly parents. Once dad died, that became obvious. I had to back out of a romantic relationship that was leading me back to Europe, and refuse a prestigious job offer for that same reason. That firm belief prevented me from seeing that I could rework both situations, the job offer and the relationship so that I could still have them, but still be able to take care of mom. Imagine my surprise when a couple of years later I found out that the person who got that job commutes between NYC and Geneva. I was attached to my home situation, I believed in my obstacle more than I believed in my belief that I could enjoy this job. I firmly believed I’d have to choose between mom and the job, when nothing could have been further from the truth. There are successful VP’s all over the world who have moms and they still manage to take care of them and get the job done.
What happens when you let go of someone or something you are emotionally attached to? No, you don’t ruin that relationship. You simply liberate yourself from being obligated to them. You become more free to honor yourself and your own needs, and in that freedom you can love and care for other people better. What feels better? Taking care of your mother because you love her, or taking care of an elderly parent because it is an obligation? Love is a much better motivator than an obligation.
When you cut emotional and energetic ties, you don’t lose those people. Instead, you make relationships better, healthier. The other person then has a choice to go down that better path with you, or completely opt out.
Our attachments are our blinders. We can’t see beyond them. It’s no wonder then, that we cannot create beyond our own belief system. Our attachments are more real than those goals and dreams we fantasize about. Doesn’t it make sense to break them?
Usually, when I start cutting cords, breaking out of whatever chains I am attached to, change happens very quickly. All those things that were out of my reach suddenly present themselves to me. I couldn’t see them before, or I perceived opportunities as obstacles.
Whenever I feel stuck, like life is not moving forward, nothing is happening for me, I check my attachments. What am I still attached to? In meditation I can see that nasty thought that keeps popping up in my head. There is something in that thought. It is usually some old, ugly belief I have no use for, but I am still playing that broken record. What are your nightmares about? That should tell you something about the fears you are attached to. A few of my friends know that I had repeating nightmares of car crashes, accidents, road hazards, and how debilitating they were when they actually became reality. This wasn’t just a nightmare, it was a fear in real life. And then, I actually had 2 car accidents that left me even more scared than ever. When I analyzed my fear, I realized that it was at least 10 years old. That fear became a belief system. I believed in it so firmly, that I actually started living it. I was so attached to that fear, that I made all decisions for two years out of fear. No wonder my life wouldn’t budge forward. Yes, at the same time, I was working on some big things in my life, but it wasn’t until I released that fear that things started to progress forward.
If you are not manifesting whatever you want, check what is holding you back? Your helium balloon cannot float upward and reach for the sky, when it is anchored to a weight. Chances are that there is a lot holding you back that you aren’t aware of.
In any given moment, there is a lot holding me back- my entire belief system. I want that guy over there, but this nasty one keeps texting me over and over again. I want that job that feels like freedom, power, and immense success, but I feel an obligation to this tiny project that I have to deliver. I know I can always do better, so why am I still here? Your obstacles are your ‘Yes but’. Yes, I want that job in Europe, but my mom requires care here, I cannot leave her. Yes, I want that man who matches my level of inner development and enlightenment, but I am still obsessing about that ex who made me so angry. Yes, I want to be my own boss, but I have bills to pay so I settle for steadier streams of income. That ‘Yes but’ is your false belief system, your obstacle, and your anchor. Release it.
If you can’t meditate, then consciously change your belief around that situation. That angry ex who is constantly on my mind is holding me back from a healthy new relationship. He is not on my mind because I need him, but because I am stuck on his pain and the injustice he caused me like a broken record. What if I could shift my perspective? We all know we are supposed to forgive, but we can’t truly forgive until we have some sympathy and love for the person who caused the anguish. So, I now see that ex as someone who gave me a new direction in life. His anger and control opened my eyes to what I do not want in my life, so now I am able to select better. His control taught me how to release myself from the grasp of very unhealthy people. I am so much better today thanks to that ex. I actually appreciate that ex now, and speak very highly of him. I changed my story, so my reality shifted. The ex is no longer a painful burden I carry on my shoulders, I tossed that boulder and started sprinting forward. As soon as I did that, dozens of new men came into my life.
We are all constantly working on improving ourselves on an internal level. The speed at which we travel through life, receive what we want, and then get more, depends on how much of a burden we carry with us. What can move faster? That heavy Mack truck designed to carry tons of weight, or that light, weightless sports car that can barely fit a load of groceries?
Lighten your burdens. We are all burdened by something, and it is our job to cut off old ties, say goodbye to people who are holding us back, and open our hands so we can receive more.