When we get attached to people, it is as though we were connected to them via an invisible elastic band. When we, or they, pull away, we can feel the tension. Anger, disrespect, rejection… they all hurt us.
It is the same with things. When we are attached to possessions, or food, or drugs, the invisible elastic band is there, holding us to them, causing addiction and greed, restricting our movement, bringing tension.
We long to be free of the pain of attachment to people who hurt us, and free of the pain of depending on objects that let us down. It’s not fun to have to worry about people and things all the time. We feel the pain of that elastic band.
It is when we discover that we can still care about people, but avoid being too attached to them, that we can become more free. Our positive care can be one way, given to people and objects, radiating towards them wherever they are. Once we realise this in our whole being, we can let things move away from us without pulling back.
If we are wise, we will understand that it is only our prideful attachment that makes other people’s anger hurt us. If our ego gets in the way, then we react with an ‘ouch’, and that ‘ouch’ can result in retaliatory action on our part.
The next time I feel hurt by someone’s unkind words, or dismissiveness, I will let the elastic band of my attachment dissolve into emptiness. I will let the other person go, and let go of my need to have others respect me.
I may still choose to stand up for myself. But it will be from the perspective of non-attachment. I won’t react impulsively. I will wait, if necessary, before I respond wisely. I will be able to manage my relationships, and possessions, without getting impatient, or frustrated.
It is often fear of loss that drives our impatient reactions. Today I will lose my fear. I will open up my hands and let the world go, all the people I love, and all the things I love. If they want to stay near me, they will.
There is no elastic band really. It is only a figment of my imagination, the part of me that fears loss, and cannot let go.
Just for today, I will let it all go. I won’t get offended by anything. I will just try to be caring, and wise.