“Life is like monkey bars. You have to let go if you want to move on.” – Unknown
Let Go of Attachments Monkey Bar Style. I like the above quote because it gives a good picture of what needs to happen in our lives if we want to move on.
I think we can all agree that most people are on a journey to find happiness and peace. There are all sorts of ways people look for it and some find it and some don’t, but it seems to be a central desire in humanity. We want to be happy and we don’t want to feel pain. The ironic part of this is that we put ourselves in all sorts of positions that set us up to feel pain.
We attach our desires and feelings upon people and situations and hold onto them tighter than we should. We stress about this and that and end up fatigued and discouraged. Things don’t always go as planned. People let us down. The road gets bumpy.
The Art of Detaching
To detach from something means to disconnect or remove feelings from the outcome. The art of letting go of feelings that tend to define us is necessary to experience some peace and joy on this journey. If you have your feelings resting on people, outcomes, and whether or not you get what you want, you are probably in for more pain that you want to feel in life.
For example, if you base your day on your partner’s mood or if you base your self-worth on whether or not you get the next promotion at work, you are allowing outward circumstances to dictate your feelings. You are trying to control your world instead of letting go and trusting that all will be well no matter what happens.
Let Go of Attachments
This is probably not as easy as it sounds and may take some practice, but you can learn to let go of attachments to the past, to people, expectations, etc. You might spend so much time in your mind thinking about your past and holding onto things that don’t matter anymore, when you could just let it all go and enjoy your present. Enjoy right now! Right now while you are reading this, take a deep breath and enjoy your life for all that it is and for all that it isn’t.
Along with letting go of the past, let go of expectations and attachments to your future. Do you sit around and worry about your future? Do you base your moods on whether you feel like you will be productive or not? Let go of attachments either way and live more for each moment as it comes.
Let Go of Expectations
Expectations set you up for disappointment. It is normal to expect certain things from people like respect, love, and so on, but sometimes people just don’t show respect or love and in order for you to be alright emotionally, understand that these types of things will happen. Know it now and don’t get so hung up on others behaving and saying things the way you think they should. Let go.
Let Go of Outcomes
Do what you want to do to work toward your goals and dreams, but let go of particular outcomes. Focus on doing what you love and enjoy. Too many people do all sorts of things in order to be happy “in the future”, but they are discontent or miserable right now. If you learn to be content in the present while working toward a successful future, you are more apt to just roll with life as it comes instead of being seated in a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Steady is the way.
Fulfilment Comes From Within
As much as our mind and even society tends to tell us that success and happiness are found “out there” somewhere, it is simply not true. Happiness and fulfilment are found within. Ask those who are content much of the time what their secret is. Many of them will share with you that they have learned the art of simplifying and letting go of attachments. They have let the grip on life go and they allow life to serve them. They offer gratitude for the good and the not-so-good, because you can always learn from both the positive and negative things that come your way.
Think back to a time when you simply let go of something. Maybe it was resentment or your drive to beat out everyone else at the office. You let it go and felt relief. You felt like you could breathe deep, smile, and move on. That is the significance of the monkey bar quote. You have to let go of one bar and move to the next in order to move forward.
Let go and keep it moving.