This time of isolation has been a great opportunity to identify our attachments. Some more unhealthy than others.
And I’m not necessarily referring to those that affect our physical health alone.
Nope, it’s those pesky habits, items or even people that we feel empty, lost or incomplete without.
In my world, that translated to running (forbidden), wine (yup, also forbidden) and, more interestingly, basic physical contact.
It surprised me to notice how much I miss the simplicity of a gentle hug when greeting someone familiar.
Alas, all is not lost, as my two furry buddies have more than compensated and kindly allow me to smother them at increasingly regular intervals with lashings of hugs and kisses.
But I digress.
If I had to select the attachment most likely to cause distress in my world, yup – you guessed correctly, running is the one most likely to lead to my unraveling..
Because as I’m running, I FEEL good. And after I’ve run, I FEEL even better (endorphins? Probably..).
So it’s not surprising that I’ve formed an attachment to that FEELING.
In addition to that, it’s part of my routine (and I LOVE routine..)!
So, as you can now see, running occupies a fair amount of the pie-chart that is my life.
When it’s suddenly removed, just gone, there’s a void. A nothingness..
Which leaves me feeling super-uncomfortable.
And I’m made painfully aware of just how much I attach my well-being to this simple pastime.
And THERE’S the danger.
When we rely on ANYTHING outside of ourselves to feel good,
we’re effectively giving away our power.
And NO-ONE willfully chooses to feel powerless..
But, these attachments are sneaky suckers.. They creep up without us noticing until BAM! The proverbial carpet is unceremoniously ripped from beneath us. And we’re left feeling bewildered and empty.
Yup, I’m sure you can think of a couple in your life right now..?
So what to do?
How do we go through life avoiding attachments?
Well, we don’t. We’re human, remember.
We’re here to experience ALL forms of emotion
– the GOOD and the BAD.
Which means that when we encounter an attachment that feels a little on the “unhealthy” side, its an opportunity to see what’s BEHIND the attachment.
What do we FEAR we’ll lose (because it’s ALWAYS about the fear of loss..).
In my case, there were a few layers for me to unpack.
Fear of losing fitness and gaining some weight.
Both are tied to my identity and how I see myself.
Fear of losing my freedom.
This, I came to realise, was simply a state of perspective (read my blog from a few weeks ago).
Fear of increased periods of low mood.
This gave me an opportunity to practice shifting my focus onto things that felt better. Which meant a shift in perspective. One that felt lighter, easier..
The upshot was that by in large, the experience moved from being something of dread, to something empowering.
A chance to know myself better.
A confidence booster.
Because each time we plow through the things that scare us, we emerge stronger, braver and less afraid of whatever new challenge shows up.
Until, one day, we’re so sure of our ability to navigate our fears, that we no longer recognise them as “fears”, but rather as opportunities for yet more EXPANSION.
Which is the whole point..