Letting Go Of Attachments: Uncovering The Lie
Today's Daily Devo continues my reflections on letting go of attachments. The inspiration for this set of Devos comes from Fr. Anthony de Mello's book The Way To Love.
As I mentioned yesterday, 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 explore the second truth: Where did your attachment come from? It came from a lie that without this or the other, without this person or the other, you can’t be happy.
At an early age, most of us are taught that following our dreams is admirable as long as our dreams lead us to success. And by success, I mean comfort, security, status, means, etc.
We lose our sense of play and wonder because we are told those aren't practical if we want to achieve the things in life that matter. We stop telling our stories because we are led to believe that stories are for children.
And so we grow up, but we carry with us the longings and the wounds that come from burying our true selves in the ideas and images from the world around us of what it takes to be a whole person.
It's no wonder that we develop unhealthy attachments to things and people we believe will get us back to the kind of wonder, joy, and true happiness we may have felt when we were young.
Fr. Anthony posits that this second truth is crucial when we want to let go of these attachments. We must realize that our unhealthy attachments are based on a lie about what or who will bring us happiness, and we must be honest about this.
This realization shouldn't bring us to a place of anger and resentment, although it's natural to want to blame others, society, our culture, and the like when we realize that we've been duped.
Instead, we need to realize that the grace of God falls on all of us, and we have all the grace we need to forgive whoever and whatever needs forgiving and then let go of our attachments so we can move toward God's greater purposes for our lives.
Our path to happiness is indeed a path that leads back to ourselves. And the only way we will ever find our way back is to take responsibility for our next step and all the steps that follow it.
Jesus often warned his followers that God's reality was far different than what they most often experienced in "the world."
This is why he encouraged them to think higher, to focus on the eternal, and to become like little children with a wide-eyed, passionate, and wonder-filled way of seeking God all around them. This is what is true and real, Jesus told them.
May it be so for you and me. May we find our way back to ourselves and learn that nothing and no one on this earth can bring us true happiness. True happiness is found when we adopt a childlike faith that enables us to see the world through the eyes of our playful, creative, and loving God.
May we live our lives full of wonder and joy. May we tell our stories without regret or shame. May we approach each new day filled with the expectation that God is with us and desires nothing less than that we become our best and most joyful selves.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us now and always. Amen.