Practicing Non-Attachment

meditatingOften what initially appears simple has instead multiple layers of understanding. Like an onion it is our task to peel off the skin until we get to the heart of the matter.   Non-attachment is such a concept for me.

What is it to love with non-attachment? I believe it is complete appreciation for the presence of our loved one in the here and now, without concerns or expectations for the future. It means complete freedom, not only for the object of our love but also for ourselves.

How does this principle play out in real life? It starts with good  boundaries.  Suppose my partner is inattentive to my needs? What is my best reaction to facilitate a loving outcome? Complaining to someone is usually perceived as judgement. Most people run from judgement. If instead I recognize meeting my needs is my own responsibility then I find other sources for love and connection.  Although his lack of attention might disappoint me, I do not hold him responsible for my unhappiness because my life is rich in love and meaningful activities.

I can imagine this type of love might be baffling to a traditionalist. After all in our wedding vows we bind ourselves with words promising union until “death do us part.” I believe over a lifetime this binding contract can cause underlying resentments and even disease. In order for love to flourish it must be free to grow.

Non-attachment means something different for each one of us. Find out for yourself.  Sit quietly, light a candle and ask the question what does loving with non-attachment look like to me? Then listen for ten minutes and the answer will come. It is my guess that, like me, your first  response to this revelation will be a sense of joy and freedom.