Emotional Attachments & Power of Letting Go
“In the process of letting go of the past, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Dipak Chopra.
Letting go is the only way to leave our past behind, so we can create a new life more aligned with our hearts.
You have invested your energy- emotions, time, and money in everything you “have” in your current life situation.
Emotions are energy in motion.
Money is a product of your time & energy investment.
And you can only invest your time by investing your energy.
In that sense, your essential resource is energy.
But let’s separate the energy into emotions, time, and money as your three primary resources.
Think about your family, partner, friends, pet, job, project, University, or car. You have invested some of these resources into everything you “have,” right?
When we invest our energy in something, we take it as a part of ourselves. We take it as part of our identity: I, me, and mine. We become emotionally attached to it.
You are emotionally attached to people, things, choices, jobs, places, habits, plans, ideas, and beliefs because you invested your emotions, time, or money into them and integrated them into your sense of who you are.
Letting go means breaking the emotional attachments, which can be very painful. And why is that?
Whatever we invest our energy in, we make it a part of ourselves, we make it a part of our identity.
When we are saying: this is my partner, my friend, my pet, my idea, my opinion, my house, my car- we are taking external things, as well as internal thoughts, beliefs, and ideas as part of ourselves.
We identify with them, integrate them into our identity, and believe that’s who we are.
That’s why people get offended or angry when someone questions their opinion, doesn’t like their idea, or says their car is ugly.
The truth is that who we are is much more significant than what we have and do.
What do I mean by that?
You are not your name, position, title, job, family, partner, pat, things, ideas, or opinions.
You are not your identity.
Your current identity is the story you have about yourself and it is the product of all your past experiences & current beliefs, habits, behavior, & actions.
You can change your identity. Here is a scientific article on this from psychologist Dr. Benjamin Hardy.
You can change your thoughts, beliefs, behavior, opinions, ideas, patterns, relationships, profession, and things you have, but you can never change the essence you are.
And who you are is the formless life-force energy that exists behind everything you believe, think, know, and do.
You are the being behind everything you are “having” and doing.
You are the spaciousness behind your identity that gives rise to your identity and everything you have or do in your life.
Letting go of something that doesn’t serve your highest good means leaving the choices that no longer fulfill you on the deepest level.
For example, by making a painful- but courageous decision to leave an unhealthy or no longer fulfilling relationship, you are deciding to stop investing your energy, emotions, and time into something that doesn’t give the energy flow back to you.
By doing so, the energy you invested in that relationship will get back to you so that you can invest that energy in something new that will satisfy you on a deeper level.
But at that moment of letting go, we only see and feel the pain of breaking the emotional attachment.
At that moment, we can`t see new beautiful relationships that will arrive in the future- after we create space for them.
That’s why we need faith.
You need to believe that by letting go of the old that no longer fulfills you, you are creating space for new, more fulfilling experiences to get into your life.
And that’s the truth.
Every time you let go of something, you might cry and sob and be in pain for a while, but soon after you let yourself feel the emotions, you will start experiencing fresh energy getting into your life.
And every time you decide to let go of something that no longer serves your higher good, you straighten your muscle of courage. So you can do it more easily again when it’s needed.
And how can we know when we are attached to something?
Whatever has the power to disturb our peace of mind is an indicator that there is an emotional attachment.
Getting the power back to ourselves means seeking our attachments & making courageous decisions to break them.
There are always three ways to break the attachment: to leave the situation & choice you once made (relationships, jobs, beliefs, or ideas), to change your perspective, behavior & actions in the situation without expectations & see what happens, and if the situation still disturbs your peace of mind, then you need to leave the situation or fully accept it as it is (this applies mostly to the choices of your family members & the things you have no control of).
“You only struggle because you’re ready to grow but aren’t willing to let go.” – Drew Gerald.
The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz is an excellent book about healthy relationships and it explains attachments. Let me know if you are interested in a free audiobook version of this book.