Lately, I’ve noticed something about myself – noticed it A LOT. What the Buddhists would say is the root of all suffering: attachment. Now the first time I heard this, it was difficult to wrap my brain around the concept. The word “attachment” is a little confusing in this context. It seemed too nebulous, too unclear, too intellectual.
But, over time, I’ve come to understand it a bit better. And, what I’ve noticed is my attachment to expectations. For instance, I expect a close friend to respond a certain way to a major event in my life. When this friend does not react the way I expect her to, I get upset. Perhaps, really upset. I wanted her to say certain things, to do certain things. And, when she didn’t, it upset me and caused me to “suffer.”
Sometimes when I use the word “suffer,” I think it sounds a tad over dramatic. But, I have to remember that it’s really kind of perfect.We live our life each and every day, and if each and every day is controlled by an attachment to expectations, chances are high I will feel a certain level of jealousy, anger, bitterness, etc. The word “suffering,” in this context, doesn’t feel so over-the-top any more.
So, does this emotional pattern I describe above feel good? Do I want to continue reacting in a way that makes me feel bad? Not even a little. But, what can I do?
Notice this is a pattern for me. Be kind to myself. Remember that lots of other people feel this way too. And, break the pattern by slowing down and getting quiet. This is how I can heal and find peace.