Letting Go Of Attachments - Blessed
In his excellent little book The Way To Love, Fr. Anthony de Mello writes extensively about how many of us struggle with attachments and how our inability to let go of them keeps us from becoming our best selves.
Fr. Anthony defines attachments like this:
“An emotional state of clinging caused by the belief that without some particular thing or some person you cannot be happy."
According to Fr. Anthony, there are four truths that we need to embrace if we want to let go of our unhealthy attachments and live full and abundant lives as our best and most authentic selves.
Today we're going to conclude our short study with the fourth truth: No thing or person outside of you has the power to make you happy or unhappy. Only you have that power.
I've been hinting at this idea in the previous Devos of this series, but we need to drill down into it today as we wrap things up.
Far too many of us spend so much of our lives trying to give away the power over our happiness to things, and people we think will make us happy. We also spend an inordinate amount of energy stewing about things and people we believe make us unhappy.
And even though we might nod and smile at the notion that we are in control and have power over our happiness (or lack thereof), we keep acting as if we don't.
We secretly believe that happiness can only be found outside ourselves, directing all of our energy on finding the right relationship, job, church, ideology, political party, friend group, you name it.
Because that's what we've been taught to think, and no matter how many self-help books, seminars, or feel-good movies we watch, we still can't shake the feeling that we have no control over our happiness.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In Matthew's Gospel chapter 5, Jesus enumerates numerous circumstances within which we should call ourselves "happy."
"Blessed are those who mourn..."
"Blessed are the meek..."
"Blessed are those who are victims of injustice..."
The list goes on and on, lifting the notion that we can be happy no matter what is happening to us, no matter where we find ourselves, no matter who has wounded us, no matter what we've lost or had taken away from us.
And we can find happiness in these circumstances because it's a choice. It's a choice to stumble after Jesus as he leads us to more and better.
It's a choice to choose happiness over despair. It's a choice to trust that God's purposes are not to harm us but to give us hope and a future. It's a choice. Our choice. No one else's.
It's time to take back control of your happiness. Let go of the attachments you have to things and people to whom you've abdicated your power and watched happiness and joy slip away from you.
Choose to be happy today, no matter what your circumstances. Know that God desires you to be satisfied and at peace, trusting that God's purposes are honest and trustworthy.
May you find joy today and every day from this day. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.