The self help and spirituality worlds are FILLED with ideas of how we 'should be' in order to have happy, healthy lives.
There's no shortage of philosophies, suggestions and ideas projected onto us about what the root cause of our suffering is, and what we can do to change that suffering into pleasure.
If you've been around the block a few times, you've likely noticed that a lot of theories center around the idea that if we could become LESS ATTACHED to outcome, if we could become less attached to people, if we could become more independent and able to 'go with the flow of life' - accepting whatever is as what's meant to be - that in THIS we will find ultimate freedom.
We're told over and over again that to attach our happiness to external outcomes. to people being or doing certain things, to systems changing, to reaching certain goals and so on is to basically guarantee that we're going to be disappointed.
Essentially, we're told that attachment is the root cause of pain and that learning to detach is the ticket to bliss.
We're also told that our empathy is a problem. There's been a big push lately for the idea that if we're being driven to states of anger, sadness, rage, hopelessness or even fear due to what we're witnessing in the world around us and in the lives of those we love that we're existing in a 'low vibration' and that this then makes us easily manipulated by nefarious powers that be.
We're being told that we need to 'rise above' the chaos so that we can be in a constant state of peace and love - in order to see what's 'really going on.' We're being told to reject those who are acting out in pain against the terrible things they are experiencing, to look at them as behaving badly and maybe even as beings who are CAUSING their own suffering because they can't seem to rise above.
Basically, we're being told that we should be non-attached to any outcome, and that we shouldn't get attached to people or their outcomes because THIS is a sign of emotional immaturity and it makes us susceptible to being fooled. We're veering off in a direction where normal human attachment and empathy are being pathologized - and where we're expecting ourselves to be totally emotionally poised and 'ok' with whatever is happening at all times - lest we fall into a negative space.
Today I want to talk about why normal, healthy attachment is an essential part of the human experience, and why empathy doesn't make us vulnerable if we know how to utilize it. I want to talk about why trying to get rid of our attachments to people and outcome is an exercise in futility and how we can harness are natural propensity for attachment and empathy to make our lives and the lives of others better.
Empathy and attachment are normal parts of the human condition. Let's learn how to work WITH them instead of trying to work against ourselves.