The Happiness of Non-attachment

Have you had a good day today? Yes / No …. Why?

If your answer contained a majority of external factors such as “I could spend time with my husband, my children did not quarrel.” Or on the positive side, “my son went to bed early and did his homework, etc.”

[Also available to read in Spanish]

This indicates a form of attachment, which binds you to these events with a certain expectation. That this person, thing, or event will bring you happiness. This feeling of well-being and pleasure is desirable, but we do not know exactly where it comes from.

The Buddhist monk Geshe Kelsang Gyatso said, “It seems as if our mind is like a balloon in the wind – blown here and there by external circumstances. If things go well, our mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes unhappy. For example, if we get what we want, such as a new possession or a new partner, we become excited and cling to them tightly. However, since we cannot have everything we want, and since we will inevitably be separated from the friends and possession we currently enjoy, this mental stickiness, or attachment, only causes us pain.”

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” ~George Bernard Shaw

Finding excuses, blaming everything and everyone for what we have, what we don’t have, what we feel. It’s convenient, comfortable but not helpful in the long term.

If you reconnect with your own happiness and are really honest with you, do you really feel fulfilled and happy in that position?

From the moment I realize that I am the only one responsible, then I take responsibility for my actions. That is to say, I stop finding excuses, I stop blaming, I stop being in control, wanting to control some situations and to change others.

You don't need others to be happy
You don’t need others to be happy

This is the first and most important step in letting go. Without this fundamental consciousness, one remains dependent on external factors for happiness. Thus, accept separation; abandon the illusion that we need others to be happy.

When we live waiting for life to work as we hope, for things to happen the way we want, and for others to treat us as we think we deserve, we are slaves of our expectations.

Living with expectations transforms us into emotionally fragile people because we expect things to turn out exactly the way we want. Except, this is impossible. 
We cannot control the thoughts or attitudes of others, or the circumstances of the world or life. However, we can master a way to consider, think, and cope with these circumstances. Did I choose to be affected or not? Did I decide to submit to this situation or change it to stay in line with my needs? 
 When we try to control the uncontrollable, we become frustrated because what we want will not happen.

Let go to grow and gain emotional maturity.

We cannot be free of the world, but we can be free of our world, that is the prison of our set beliefs and of our ego. No one can change life, but everyone can change their beliefs and the way they live. Happiness and sorrow are within us. Heaven and hell only exist inside.”
-The Soul of the World by Frédéric Lenoir

I hear, often without any energy: “I decided to let go and not to do anything anymore. I’ll see.” Well no! Letting go is not throwing in the towel and resigning yourself to accept everything. Letting go is not staying still and powerless to wait for things finally to change.Therefore, it’s not about inaction, it’s about taking action from the energy you gain by surrendering. Surrender literally means to stop fighting. Stop fighting with yourself. Stop fighting the universe and the natural flow of things. Stop resisting and pushing against reality.

Surrender = Complete acceptance of what is + Faith that all is well, even without my input.

Many of the situations we find ourselves in only control us because we give our consent to them… and then we seem to forget that we have the power to leave them. Letting go is taking your place, accepting your limits, and most of all asking “to whom do I give the power in this situation?”

Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”

I believe in a friendly universe.

Being receptive and allowing things to happen is a skill that can be practiced and improved upon.

let-go-with-the-flow-of-things
Let the current carry you downstream

We can always choose to do things the easy way or the hard way. We can fight against, or we can let go of the oars and let the current carry us downstream.

Simply take the time ask yourself and answer with honesty and love, “What can I take from this?”, “What do I want to learn from this?” These can help us to consider things in a more empowering direction. Also, asking “How do I want this to be different in the future?” can help us to formulate a plan to make that future happen.

Each difficult and painful experience carries with it a seed of growth and freedom which will help us move forward. All you have to do is let it grow…

By Claire Bailliez

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