· By Case Kenny
Letting go of attachment...
When it comes to something in life that was great and then ended, we all want to move on. Of course we do. No one WANTS to hang onto things, memories, experiences that make us feel less, drained, lonely and so on.
We know that our best life is lived when we retain the lesson, the new standard, a higher sense of self but we're no longer attached to the thing.
But in-line with our human desire to move on comes a gut reaction where we try to force ourselves to do just that.
But the harder you try to move on, the harder it becomes.
If you obsess over moving on, if you obsess over a yellow car… voila you’re seeing yellow cards everywhere.
If you obsess over moving on... voila you’re seeing signs of your past memories everywhere and it becomes harder to move on. When we try to force ourselves to move on, it avoids the biggest question of all: where is the hurt coming from? The hurt.
Take a step back and let’s get real.
Your resistance to letting go….
Is it coming from the experience itself OR is it coming from an attachment to what could’ve been?
There will always be a visceral kind of hurt that is real and raw and comes from disappointment… but as humans I’ve found that a lot of the hurt we carry with us doesn’t come from the person or the experience… it comes from our attachment to what could’ve been.
Our attachment to what could've been...
Something ending often becomes the starting point for our attachment to it.
It’s not necessarily attachment to the person, it’s attachment to what could’ve been. The potential.
Our resistance to moving on is less about THEM and it’s more about the attachment we create around potential.
It’s very tough to separate the two - the person, the memory, the experience… AND the attachment we’ve created.
How do you separate connection from the experience? How do you separate what was with what you wanted to come next?
It takes a lot of self control and radical self honesty. If you sit down and really challenge yourself you might realize that what you're battling when you’re struggling to move on is YOU. It’s your attachment to what could’ve been. It’s your attachment to potential.
Letting go is letting go of attachment. YOUR attachment. YOUR attachment to a vision of potential.
To move on, we have to have a destination of sorts in mind - not an outcome, not a tropical paradise vision, not a new person, not a vision of the perfect relationship. Not something to chase.
The true way to move past them AND the attachment to the potential you’ve created… is by creating something new.
Create something new...
Take as long as you need to be in the feelings you have, don’t force it, don’t rush… but when the day comes where you say "ok, it’s time to move on"… the most powerful thing you can do for yourself is decide WHERE you’re moving to. Deciding what newness you’re creating.
When you build something new, inherently it has to be built on the same land you currently own… and that land currently is taken up by your attachment to the vision you used to have.
So by deciding to create something new, you’re saying "I’m replacing that attachment."
Build something new.
What does the like look like for you?
I remember going through a breakup in my 20s and it was similar thinking. I was holding onto the attachment to what could’ve been.
But I replaced that attachment with a new direction. "I deserve to trust myself." That was my goal. I remember it vividly. "I deserve to trust myself."
That turned into all kinds of new affirmations for me - especially that I deserve to trust that my hard work will pay off and that anything I've lost will be replaced by something better.
New direction. Building something new. That was my new direction.
A dedication to building something new instead of hanging out in the center of some attachment that was self created.
"Where is this pain coming from? Is it coming from the experience itself or my attachment to what could’ve been?"
And then ask yourself "what can I build in the place of this attachment?"