WOW Word-Of-the-Week #489: Attachment

December 18, 2013 by  

Attachment – believing that life is permanent and you need lots of stuff to feel complete.

Do you feel a need to accumulate possessions? Does your car, paycheck, house, etc. determine who you are? How about the people in your life? And with the Holidays how do you feel about the need to buy gifts for everyone?

This felt like a good time to revisit this WOW that I wrote back in 2006 right after my mother passed away. In the Dalai Lama’s book, “How to Expand Love,” his Holiness suggests that we might behave better if we remember that life is temporary.

“One of the chief reasons why lust and hatred arise is that we are too attached to this lifetime. We want to believe it is permanent, that it will last forever, so we concentrate too much on temporary circumstances and place too much value on material goods.”

“The only way to get around this is to reflect on the fact that all things pass – you too will pass away.”

DSC00270 My mother always said, “Life is short.” As I write this, I am thinking about all of my friends and family who are no longer with us, and reflecting on how short it now feels. My mom didn’t need a lot of things and could have spent a lot more money than she did. She knew that one day she would die.  She just didn’t know when. As a result, she lived each day to the fullest, surrounded by family and friends.

This week’s focus is on how much you are or are not attached to possessions. Do you see everything as permanent or temporary? Can you see that if you died tomorrow none of those things would be important in your death? How would it feel to give the “gift of an experience” to a loved one this year? Do you have any fond memories of receiving an “experience gift?”