I recently attended senior days for my two sons - one in college and one in high school. And this weekend, I’m surrounded by hundreds of new WVU graduates and their families as we celebrate the completion of their studies at the University.
These experiences make me think about our life transitions and the attachments that we gather through our lives.
The attachments vary, but include our jobs, houses, cars, families, teams, cities, states, sports teams, power, and other tangible and intangible possessions. These attachments define our ego-based identities, our dreams, our activities, our motivations, and the lenses we use to see our lives.
They also include the way we see ourselves. As each attachment ends, we change and undergo a series of deaths and rebirths.
In these moments, the attachments we seek, maintain, and release define our growth.
As we grow, we transition attachments from material to spiritual.
Material possessions and hierarchical position and power seems less important, while spiritual attachments to nature, family and friends and quiet reflection gain meaning.
We regain the sense of wonder, curiosity and awe that colored our childhood experiences and appreciate the world around us in a new/old way.
Are ego- and socially-defined material attachments responsible for the perception of separateness and the insatiable need for acquisitions and control that many of us need on our life journey? Does transitioning and releasing these attachments create the learn, earn, return parts of our lives?
The honest answer is that we don’t ever really own anything that is material - we just borrow them for a while. The illusion of wholeness gained through material attachments and accomplishments fades as we age and as we grow.
Is growth and aging really just a stripping of the ego-driven attachments in our lives, until our layers are peeled back to reveal our core?
If we release the illusion that we need material accomplishments to be loved, safe and whole, we realize our true nature as powerful creators of our world, our lives and our experiences.
For it is not the attachments that create the gravity that binds our lives, but it is our need for them and the belief that they make us whole.
They do not.
For at our core, we are already loved, safe and whole.
Realizing and trusting this is a true gift.