Acknowledging Our Attachments to Outcomes

Acknowledging Our Attachments to Outcomes

A steady mindfulness practice of “Visceral Awareness,” “Present Living,” and “Emotional Peace” sets the stage for practicing “Diminished Attachments to Outcomes,” the fourth of five main areas I’m exploring in this blog series.

“Attachment” is a dynamic that I’ve wrestled with for a few years. Friends and great writers have helped me to understand what it means and begin to recognize it in my life. It’s clearly a habit that’s characterized me for much longer than a few years.

We can become “attached” to many things. Some of the most popular: A person, or our ideal of that person; an aspiration; a job or a title; possessions; a lifestyle…and, most pervasively, certain desired outcomes that become fixed in our minds.

I’ve often possessed an irresistible urge to have my accomplishments, efforts, or suffering recognized by others; especially, my writing. As I explore this more deeply during this current season of life, I notice and grapple with residual feelings of inadequacy. I also come face-to-face with my often subconscious motives for controlling or manipulating others, in order to get the outcomes I desire, and how these motives are revealed in things I say or don’t say.

I believe that it’s only through becoming deeply in touch with our bodies, more fully engaged with being present with what’s around us, and unleashing inner streams of emotional tranquility that we activate a magnified ability to recognize our attachments to certain outcomes in “real time,” and begin to loosen our grip. We can learn to dance in the present moment, enthusiastically giving our best to the person or activity before us, without being so distracted by how things might or might not turn out “in the end.” (And what is “the end,” anyhow? Life is not a network sitcom with a smoothly-orchestrated closure before the final commercial break, but a progressively unfolding, ever-changing experience of the divine joined with the organic, where nothing is permanent except for the divine itself.)

What attachments to certain outcomes are plaguing you today? What lays within their folds?

Let’s continue to practice mindfulness together. There is far more that unites us than divides us; for each of us is an undiagnosed carrier of the same human condition, prone to darkness and lack of peace, and yet also bearing the seeds of growth that, with practice and resiliency, can bloom into a progressively mindful individual.

Thanks for continuing to journey with me on this series. I treasure you.