Off late I’ve been trying to mull over the Buddhist notion of attachment being at the root of suffering. It’s a concept that’s easy enough to grasp at a cerebral level, but remarkably hard to put into practice as a way of finding inner peace and all that other soulful shit.
For starters, the thought of attachment being at the root of all suffering is just that, a thought. It’s a ridiculously simple, and thus enormously complicated, concept that is in desperate need of actionable, day-to-day living suggestions.
It makes sense to figure it out. Who the fuck wants suffering in this world after all?
The hardest part for me in figuring out this suffering-laden-attachment is the deep, painful love I feel for my soulmate Sus and our daughter Daya.
I say painful because I can’t personally think of a greater suffering than the loss of one’s greatest loves. Indeed, the fear of that loss is a whole other realm of suffering altogether, the slow burning kind.
When you are lucky enough to experience a love so profoundly integrated into your spiritual being, it comes naturally with the flip side of crippling fear and anxiety.
I don’t like that fear and anxiety.
I think it makes me a shittier spouse and father.
It makes it harder to love with a true nurturing spirit. Because it ultimately draws back into that corrupted masculine need for control, for power to influence the lives of others.
And when I connect that to attachment, occasionally my eyes open a crack.
I’m attached to the security my loved ones bring me.
I’m attached to being needed by beautiful souls.
I’m attached to feeling like a self-righteous prick because I try in vain to fulfill all those needs.
I’m attached to the natural inter-dependency of family.
I’m attached to the health and longevity of my loved ones.
I’m attached to social norms, with nominal rebelliousness, of what perfect families ought to be like.
I’m attached to others seeing my loved ones as awesome people.
I’m attached to the easy sense of meaning and fulfillment that comes from being a committed spouse and father.
I’m attached to the respect I get from being a “family man”.
I’m attached to being able to say to the world and myself that I have real love in my life.
I’m attached to the envy it generates in people who aren’t as lucky.
I don’t know…
Maybe trying to love and nurture without attachment might just make me a less selfish asshole who can stay the fuck in the present, and be grateful for the love without getting his undies in a twist.