Attachment vs. Connection
“Most of our troubles stem from attachment to things that we mistakenly see as permanent.” – Dalai Lama
When we are overcome with negative thinking, it is important to become the observer of our being. Especially when we are so caught up in our feelings and emotions, we easily lose control of our mind and allow the feeling or emotion to control us. For a moment, think of a recent time when you were really angry or disappointed at a situation or person. How did you react? What emotions or feelings were you going through? Now think big picture – could you have reacted better to the situation, and how does this impact your life?
This awareness as the act of mindfulness teaches us about gaining perspective on a situation. Mindfulness is not positive thinking at the flip of a switch, but rather a tool which provides us a wider lens through which we can observe ourselves. Through widening our perspective on a situation, we can learn how to create more mindful habitual thinking. For instance, instead of experiencing a thought of “I cannot believe she did this,” you might think to yourself “I am feeling frustrated with how things happened, but what can I change?” You take back control. This practice also teaches you how to sit with certain emotions. I am feeling angry because of this reason, and that is okay. Still in your control. This pattern does take time and effort to adapt, just like starting a new habit. But when we commit ourselves to observing, we are saving ourselves from a lot of hurt that feeds negative thinking.
Mindfulness teaches us how to recognize thoughts, emotions, and feelings as temporary experiences, like clouds forever evolving. The attention shifts from “I am depressed,” to “I am feeling depressed.” What we feel is always temporary. Our attachment to those feelings is what drains us. Thus, it is vital to be aware of what we are habitually attaching ourselves to. Instead of getting attached, we should learn how to connect to our being, sit with frequent thoughts, let go of fleeting emotions, and connect to how we feel right here, right now.