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Love vs. attachment (part 1)

Attachment happens when we place happiness outside ourselves onto a person, a thing, or a label.  We get attached to our cars, our titles, our relationships, even to something as small as a favorite pen!  And when those things go away, or don't behave as we expect them to, it creates discontent, suffering and drama in our lives.  The opposite of attachment isn't detachment, it is love.  Love is wishing happiness (and knowing the root of that happiness) for all things.  We can think of love as being about the happiness of others, while attachment is about the happiness of ourselves.  When we love someone or something unconditionally without judgment, expectation or attachment, we truly can find joy in that being's happiness, however that may or may not include us.  This may sound like a hard concept to swallow, after all, we love our partners, children, pets and parents, right?  But if that relationship changes, do we really celebrate the other's joy in finding their true path?  If we find ourselves being swept into despair, insecurity or frustration about unmet expectations, we may want to explore our attachments and how they relate to our own happiness.

Suggested action:  Explore your attachments today.  How do they relate to your happiness and/or suffering?

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