It is interesting that this card comes up again for us. We last saw this card only a few months ago, but it’s message is poignant. Clearly, we have more work to do in the arena of attachment.
As humans, sometimes I think we like to hold on to things, even long after they are serving us well. We resist change even in times when the change holds potential for the next amazing thing life is offering. Change can be scary and so we hold on to things, relationships, feelings and thought patterns long after they have expired.
Why do we do that? Why do we stunt our own growth??? Why do we sabotage ourselves?
Because what we know and feel today is…wait for it…comfortable.
How can painful experiences be comfortable? How can painful relationships and emotional states be comfortable? Well, they aren’t…exactly. But it is what we know. It is predictable. We know what to expect, we know how we will react and we know how we will feel. Change means unpredictability, uncertainty about how we will feel, what we will think, what others will think and what we expect. So, instead of doing the scary thing, we hold on tightly, as if these experiences define us.
They do not.
We are more than our experiences. We are more than what we are choosing to attach to. Our brain is very literal. Whatever follows “I am…” or “My…” is defining. When we say “My…” we are instructing our brain to hold onto something that we believe is ours. For example, when I hear someone say “My cancer…” Or “My anxiety is crippling…” my heart skitters. Why do we choose to hold onto cancer or anxiety? The brain will continue to do everything it can by influencing our choices and thoughts in order to hang on to the thing that we claim is ours. We experience these things. It isn’t a constant state, but an experience that we visit, a lesson in our midst, an opportunity to shift the unresolved or to let go of something that isn’t serving us well. Just shifting the statement to “When I experience anxiety I find it hard to cope…” creates space in the brain for it to interpret it as an experience and not a possession. This means that there is now room to have a different experience. Just because we had one anxiety attack or even a hundred, doesn’t mean that we will be plagued by this forever. It means that there is a possibility and potential for a different experience and this will allow the brain to find alternatives to how we experience stress in our lives. When we suffer through experiences like Cancer or other diseases, we want to leave room to have our own unique experience without being attached to it. We always want to have room to let it go, to be free of it and not have it define us. We are more than our experiences. Sure, they shape how we evolve and how we show up in the world, but they do not define us.
Consider how we define cancer. The dictionary defines it as a malignant and invasive growth; an evil condition or thing that spreads destructively. We think of it as a death sentence, of pain, trial, disruption, turmoil, uncertainty and so much more. Why would we want to claim that? Why would we want to perpetuate it and hang on to it? Instead, why not be an observer of it? Why not choose our own way to participate in the experience? Why not leave room in our thinking to let go of the experience? Why not detach from it by saying “the cancer…” – even shifting from MY to THE we can feel the difference the words hold in the body. Our language matters.
Of course there are layers to this thinking, and for those who are suffering right now with their own experiences, the challenge this week is to be mindful of what we are attaching to. What outcome are we anticipating? Remember, we are not static beings, we move, shift, grow and change. The way we think and observe our experiences matters. The synchronicity of our body and mind working effortlessly together requires us to let go of attachments. Let’s feel free t o choose how we participate in our experiences and relationships knowing that they add to our character and don’t have to define our character.
Today, I invite Divine to stir in my heart as I lift and release all attachments that are no longer serving me. I willingly let go as I choose to be free to experience life on my own terms, choosing to participate in ways that are life affirming and beautiful. I trust that all that I release to Divine is transmuted, healed and transformed into unconditional love. And so it is.