It's like an Angst Fair out there. Rightfully so. However, angst will drain our energy. Sometimes it's important to let some things go so that we can maintain the fire of energy to get the real work done.
From the Chopra Center, here's an edited (for space purposes) version of "Detaching for a Happier Life."
As spiritual author Ron W. Rathbun wrote, “True detachment isn’t a separation from life but the absolute freedom within your mind to explore living.”
Clues You Are Attached
When you are attached to an object, a goal, a dream, or another person, there are feelings that tell you “If I don’t have that, I won’t be whole.” These are feelings like:
Why Do We Attach?
In an effort to define ourselves, we listen to what others want us to be and make choices about the things we like or dislike. The paradox here is that in our effort to become ourselves, we actually create separation from others.
How to Detach: 5 Steps
1. Observe your mind: Become aware of what kind of thoughts you habitually think. What things or descriptors do you identify with most? Become a student of self and heighten your awareness of where attachment happens more frequently for you. Recognize attachment comes with an emotional charge. Notice where you feel this in your physical body. It’s different for each individual and learning your patterns is a useful tool in creating change.
2. Distinguish between the voice of your ego and the actual situation: Your ego might tell you that not getting the job you want has ruined your career. The actual situation is: you are disappointed because you don’t have something you never had in the first place. There has been no loss. Nothing has changed except your thoughts about your future potential. The actual situation is the same as it was prior to not getting the job.
3. Embrace uncertainty: Only a willingness to embrace the unknown provides security. As Deepak Chopra says, “Those who seek security in the exterior world chase it for a lifetime. By letting go of your attachment to the illusion of security, which is really an attachment to the known, you step into the field of all possibilities. This is where you will find true happiness, abundance, and fulfillment.”
4. Meditate on it: Meditation is a vehicle to help your mind release patterns of thought and action that no longer serve you. Spend some time in meditation each day and watch how the patterns in your life begin to change.
5. Don’t beat yourself up for falling into old habits: The first step in making change is recognizing what it is you want to change. Instead of getting frustrated or disappointed when you fall back into an old habit, celebrate that you are now noticing when you repeat the pattern of thought or habit. In time, this will allow you to transform your behavior.
When you begin living a life that starts with happiness from an internal place rather than placing your ability to be happy on external conditions, then you have understood detachment. Remember, it’s a practice. Happiness is the journey and not the destination, or as Wayne Dyer said, “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.”