I was having some emotional trouble. I was so worried and upset, I couldn’t sleep (NOTHING looks good at 2 in the morning) and was having trouble functioning. My worry was only causing me turmoil. I was aware of that, but couldn’t seem to stop fretting.
I was attached to what I imagined was going to happen next in the lives of people I love. And I felt guilt that maybe there was some way I could “fix” it and didn’t know how. Somehow I thought I should know.
My therapist would say to me, “What would happen if you just dropped those ‘weights’?” I couldn’t imagine doing that.
Years ago, I had a client who said, “I’m working on being attached to nothing and connected to everything.” I never forgot that but I hadn’t really internalized what it meant: attachment is based on fear and connection is based on love.
Attachment is when we are trying to control an outcome, as if we know what’s best for anyone. (Do we even know what’s best for ourselves?) Connection represents what’s true: that we can love, but not control others. We only have control over our own behavior.
If I tried to dance with a weight belt around my waist, like they wear in scuba diving, I wouldn’t be able to move very well. Trying to live with the weight of self-imposed guilt and anxiety around my shoulders was making me crazy.
If you are attached to how you look when you are dancing, you cannot enjoy the experience as much as if you let go of the attachment and feel your connection instead. Feeling your connection to your body and the music gives you a deeper experience that is not infused with fear, but rather, with love.
For example, if you are worried that you don’t look good when you’re dancing, that is attachment and is based on fear of (my personal favorite) “not being good enough.”
On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your form. Enhancing your skill is not based on fear, but on your connection to your body and dance.
I decided to let go of my attachment to how my loved ones were faring and trust that they could take care of themselves. I dropped the weights of guilt, fear and attachment to what I imagined could happen. This doesn’t mean I abandoned them or stopped caring. I replaced that attachment with the knowledge and feeling of my connection to them. The connection I have with them is love, which is eternal and real.
This shift didn’t happen overnight. It came to me gradually. And even now I still have to stop myself from picking the weights up again. I have to remind myself what crazy felt like. Then I can let go, again….and again. It is a process.
If we can let go of attachment, we can find what’s real in by recognizing our connection to everything. It is the same as choosing love over fear.
Dance and live in connection, not attachment, and the weights will fall away.