How often do we feel enslaved by our own desires and our own created circles?
Oftentimes we decide for ourselves what we want to do and so we tend to hate or resent people telling us to do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that yadda yadda. And so we do things to satisfy ourselves. “It’s my freakin’ life” we’d say. And then we do it once more. And then again. And then again and again. Feels good to be free, to do what you want.
And then for some unknown reason something’s gone wrong. It gratifies yes, everything’s just perfect but something just doesn’t seem right and it’s not conscience.
Why, what’s freakin’ wrong?
It’s because of too much attachment to things, even to our own thoughts.
I’m a regular victim of this as well.
I’m happy when I’m able to publish my thoughts in this blog. Anything in fact. But after that there is this anti-climactic effect of feeling light-headed and bored to death. I craved too much. I’ve attached myself too much to writing that I’ve given it some degree of control over me to dictate what I want do and what I should do. It leaves me almost lifeless in effect.
When I’m in a deep level of flow while at work, my mind is intensely focused on the present. It’s like giving it all in one shot without anything left for me. It’s both gratifying and satisfying doing the job you love, don’t get me wrong. But still when I’m so into it I tend to forget everything else – all because I’ve attached myself too much to my work and to the label that I am a structural engineer.
The same goes with almost everything else – taking care of the kids, meeting the needs of my wife, hanging out with friends. Everything when done within a prolonged period of time with perfect predictability and with a heavy and steady investment of one’s self is guaranteed to throw everything off balance.
Detach Yourself and Just Be
I’m not into a formal meditation class but I believe in its beneficial effects to the mind and body. My version of meditation is to detach myself from the situation I am in. This took a lot of practice. Never was and never is easy and I’m still in the process of learning how to master it but it greatly helped me regain my equilibrium.
So how does this self-detachment look like to me and how do I actually do this?
- Stop whatever you’re doing at the moment and just be. Observe yourself at a distance and ask questions. Why do I react this way? What made me angry? Is it directed towards the deed, the situation or the person? You should answer honestly like a complete stranger assessing the situation. Sometimes the answer that has long been staring at you in the face might even surprise you. You have had time to procrastinate, do good and do whatnot so when things start to overwhelm you, just shut up and just be.
- Detach yourself from your emotions as well. At the edge of your nerves? Ready to throw up or feel like you’re going to rip everything you get your hands into? Just stop. Stay calm and “watch” yourself. Get back to the mode of just being there at the moment.
- Talk to yourself, narrate to yourself your current situation. Talking to one’s self is a sign of intellectual and emotional intelligence, my wife told me. This doesn’t make you the smartest human on the planet though but self talk is a tremendous help to your wellbeing including asking and answering your own questions.
- Last is to remind yourself that you are your own pilot. You control your own soul and not the serene nor chaotic mess right outside of you. You’re just as perfect such that you will not be enslaved by anything, not even your own mind and cravings. Try to start with these: ” I am not a slave to my smart phone, I can survive without it”, “I am not a slave to my Facebook profile, I will constantly update and improve myself instead”, “I am not a slave to my status online, I am living a real life”, “I am not a slave to the music I listen to, they don’t define me, I define myself”, “I am not a slave to my own prejudices, I seek the truth before dishing my judgment”, “I am not a slave to other’s opinion of me, I know my flaws and shortcomings and I am doing my best to correct them and to completely improve myself. I am complete.”
That’s why there are certain occasions when I need time talking to myself instead of talking to somebody else even friends because it becomes another drag, another conversation to maintain and another chance to inflict further damage to my already jumbled mind.
It’s the same space that my wife and I give each other. We both appreciate each other’s gift of silence and the opportunity to meditate. It’s during those times that I am able to talk to myself, to charge, debrief myself, to settle the dust in order to have a clearer vision of what’s up ahead.
So if you feel the need to momentarily detach yourself from your current state for a few hours or seconds to regain your equilibrium, please do so. Don’t push yourself to talk to anyone if you think you need that time alone because it will do more harm than good. Trust me, I know from experience.
Detach yourself from yourself from time to time. Detaching yourself from the grind of everyday life will bring you balance and inner peace. And that inner peace and equilibrium is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and the people you love and care about.
Wishing you’d find that balance that you’re looking for.