Does your whole world seem out of control?
Old paradigms are crumbling and transforming into something new and it can be hard not knowing what is happening from one day to the next.
The only way to make peace with it all is to realize that nothing is in your control.
Years ago, as my life crumbled and all of my support systems vanished,
I came to realize something that would change my life forever: if I was to survive this,
I had to embrace the idea of change and understand that nothing was permanent.
So I knew that the only way I was going to feel any measure of comfort was to get okay with change, and fast. Huge challenge for me.
At the time I was a self-admitted control freak. And the only reason anyone is ever a control freak is because it is a response to feeling an immense lack of control at some point in your life. For me, it was my childhood.
That was an attachment I formed to manage situations in my life.
The same thing is happening today with how we approach all the changes in the world.
We all form attachments. We see it most often in our relationships where we place expectations on a person and on the outcomes of situations.
Here are a few ways that show up in your daily behaviour…. over-bearing, controlling, people-pleasing, blaming, shaming, manipulating, bullying… all actions that come from a fear of something happening that is out of your control. But certainly not an exhaustive list.
Non-attachment is a hard concept to explain and even harder to embody.
Not only are we dealing with an abstract idea, choosing it as a way to approach life is counter to what this society wants us to do.
Society is geared in every aspect, from authority figures to media to advertising, to tell us how to think, feel and live.
Critical thinking as a sovereign being is frowned upon and groupthink is pushed like it’s a street drug.
How do you break away from that to create space to think and feel what you truly want in this world despite what everyone is telling you to want? Non-attachment.
Here are some real-life, practical steps you can take to help develop this within you:
If they don’t ask for advice or help, don’t give it.
Some of us try to find a sense of worthiness by helping others.
And, while we may be well-intentioned, it often doesn’t come off that way. Many times, people just want to be feel seen. So listen. Hear what they are saying. Feel for them. But, unless they expressly ask, don’t give advice. This is not about you.
Focus on you not what you think they should be doing.
How different could your life be if all that worry and stress and interference you gave to another person, situation or outcome, was focused on your dreams, desires and goals? All of that efforting minding business that isn’t yours is wasted energy. What amazing changes could you make in your life with all that extra energy? Seriously. Think about it.
Let them gain the wisdom that only comes from personal experience.
The best teacher is lived experience. Can you make a list of things that you will *never do again* because you suffered the consequences of a bad decision you made? Exactly. Sometimes you just have to live through a shitstorm to understand there is no room for any of that noise in your life ever again!
Focus on the good not the bad.
Now, I am not saying that you should allow yourself to be disrespected or stay in an unsafe situation. But I am saying that what you focus on expands. So, assuming everyone is safe, take the focus off the unwanted for a while. Compliment things that are working. It’s amazing how issues seem to dissipate once we put our attention on the positive.
Stop thinking that everything is your responsibility.
As women, we are taught from a young age to keep the peace, don’t ruffle any feathers, know your place and so on…. So we end up taking on more than we should in life out of some deeply ingrained, outdated belief to make everyone happy. Decide you are done with that. Let people take care of their own stuff. Believe me when I tell you this is incredibly freeing.
Find non-contentious ways to interact with them.
This works best with friends or family members who don’t affect your day-to-day reality. Find a few neutral topics that you can refer to when interacting with them so you don’t get pulled into the drama.
Realize your unhappiness has nothing to do with their behaviour.
The only person you control is you. You are 100% responsible for your own happiness. No one else. If you’re in a situation you don’t like, leave it. If a person in your life is causing you distress, leave them. You are always in charge of your own behaviour and how you respond to a situation. And if you can’t leave, and I’ve been there, figure out which of the options above will work for you to get a little ease in your life in the meantime until you can leave.
- What behaviours do you exhibit in relationships that cause unhealthy attachments?
- How is your need for life to be a certain way making it hard for you to live in today’s world?
- What is the underlying fear that triggers you to behave this way?
- Which of the above tips can you add to your life to practice creating a habit of non-attachment?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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