Today’s blog explores the invitation to non-attachment and one practice for getting there.
Human = Attachments
Because we are here to be human, we form attachments. Attachments are a function of the false perception of separation that is inherent in the human condition – separation from Self, from God and from One another. Attachments are the hooks we place into the things that we strive after – our hopes, desires, dreams, longings, goals, wants, etc. When we identify a desire, place our hook of want and attention into that desire, then pursue that desire, we have formed an attachment. While this is a normal part of the human process of doing, attachments can cause us great suffering because sometimes, the things we have formed attachments around will never come to pass and most will not happen in the form or the time in which we had envisioned them. While suffering is an inherent part of the human experience, we can lighten the load through the practice of non-attachment. I recently discovered a spiritual practice that can help us to release some of the bothersome attachments we have created in our lives. I call it the practice of “I don’t care.”
Explaining “I Don’t Care”
Before I explain this practice, I want to mention that the intention of this practice is NOT to make us feel badly. Neither is it intended to drive us into the pits of despair or the darkness of depression. The intention of this practice is to help us identify the things around which we have formed an attachment and to provide a tool through which we can begin to release the hooks we have plunged into our desires. When we can identify the attachments and begin to do the work of freeing them, we open ourselves to other possibilities, other opportunities and an outcome that is perfectly timed and in perfect harmony with who God knows us to be. Releasing attachments helps us to surrender to God’s plan instead of the plan of the ego that is driven by our desires, longings, wants and our desire to control.
How it Works
1) To begin the process, write down all the things that you have been striving after. This will differ for each of us, but might look like:
- notoriety or fame
- a particular salary
- certain professional roles/jobs/tasks
- a new house
- having a baby
- finding a loving partnership
- the ability or desire to travel
- professional or personal goals, desires, hopes, longings
2) Now, go through each of these desires, goals, etc. and apply the “I don’t care” practice. It might look like this:
- I don’t care if I never have a baby of my own
- I don’t care if I never find fulfillment in my job
- I don’t care if I never find loving partnership
- I don’t care if no one ever knows or cares about who I am
- I don’t care if I don’t get that job
- I don’t care if I never become famous
- I don’t care if I never make another penny
- I don’t care if I never have the house I want
- I don’t care if I never get to travel the world
3) Recite the “I don’t care” mantra over and over and over around each of the items that you have identified. As you recite “I don’t care” around that attachment, imagine the attachment being released and that you are letting go of your attachment to this this goal, desire, etc.
4) If you find yourself feeling angry, tearful or afraid around the release of a specific attachment, CONGRATULATIONS, you have just identified the one that has the greatest level of attachment around it and the one most in need of release. Be angry. Cry. Quake. AND keep reciting “I don’t care” until you have raged, cried, shaken yourself out. THEN BREATHE.
5) NOW……and this is very important! Do something very kind to and for yourself. Take a restorative bath. Listen to some soothing music. Pour yourself a soothing cup of tea. You have just accomplished a very difficult spiritual practice and it is important to soothe the part of you that might now feel a little (or a lot) vulnerable. And….know that you have freed yourself from the limitations of your hidden fears so that you can step more fully into the freedom that God intended and the possibilities and opportunities that you haven’t even begun to dream about. Also know that the “highest good” that God intends for you will happen gracefully and effortlessly without your need to pursue or control it.
Authentic Freedom Ministries