Last night I attended a stretch yoga class and the instructor talked to us about the problem with having attachments. Apparently, yoga maintains that having attachments is the greatest source of suffering. The practice emphasizes the process of letting go of our attachments – to things, ideas, people, even time – so as to avoid clouding the ‘true self.’ To be in constant awareness of our attachments means to more easily allow them to weaken, to dissolve. In fact, it’s more than merely letting go; yoga teaches us not to take hold in the first place.
I couldn’t help but relate this to everything in my life that I am in the process of detaching myself from (with more than a little suffering). I’m not doing this to de-cloud my ‘true self’; I’m only doing it because I’m soon moving far away, and I have no choice. As a result, I am suffering. Our most intense and profound attachments are those we have to other people. So when those attachments break for whatever reason, we experience the most intense and profound suffering.
This is a suffering I would rather not go through if I can help it, and if letting go of attachments is the way to do it, I’m willing to try. I haven’t had much luck so far. I try to imagine myself having fun and doing exciting things in the coming year – which I am able to do with relative ease – but when I try to imagine doing them with other people, I freeze and the whole image crumbles. I realized that it’s impossible to imagine the people with whom you will be friends with and the kind of relationship you might have before you even know those people exist.
I can tell myself a million times that I’ll make friends – which I’m sure is true – but it won’t mean anything to me until I meet them. So until that time I will have to do my best to weaken the attachment I currently have to those around me, make my peace with leaving them behind for a while. And when I make my new friends, I can hold onto them just tight enough, but try to remember that at a certain point it will be time, once again, to release.