Attachment is the root cause of suffering. It is by letting go of our attachments, by doing the opposite of what we cling to, that we find true freedom and inner peace. – Thich Nhat Hanh
As carers how often do we return to our regular clients with their familiar routines, avoid the discomfort of pursuing new experiences that may expand our expertise and opt to work in an environment where we can revert to autopilot to get through the day? Sometimes situations force our hand and we have no choice but to venture on a new path but how often do we deliberately try to do something new each day – something that goes against the grain purely for the evolution of our soul?
I did exactly that recently – I took on placement under managed care, was overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork, felt uneasy being accountable to someone else and really struggled with the lack of autonomy and freedom to make independent decisions. It was like I was at the beginning of my care journey – I had taken a salary sacrifice but increased my workload and it felt so uncomfortable.
Ultimately I was doing the opposite of what I wanted to do and this concept got me thinking about how my current work situation had clouded my judgement, created suffering and hindered my spiritual progress. This very act of letting go and surrendering to the flow of life had opened me up to new possibilities and even though that felt like I was going backwards, I was able to see through the illusion of separateness and ego-centred thinking.
For me, this attitude shifted my perspective from avoidance to proactive engagement and continues to be a powerful reminder to view challenges as opportunities to expand my skill set, build confidence and foster a sense of accomplishment.
The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” Epicteteus
Confronting our fears and discovering our inner strength is transformational. True liberation comes when we release our fixation on fleeting attachments and recognize our interconnectedness with a larger cosmic order. The conscious engagement of new interactions keeps us grounded in the present and aware of the constraining influence of the ego that serves to protect us through recognition and control.
When we turn in a different direction, everything changes as we begin to cultivate a mindset of adaptability, align with our deeper values and intentions and let go of rigid expectations. By doing the opposite of what the ego wants, we break free from its grip and open ourselves to the boundless love and wisdom within.