Attachment as a Spiritual Obstacle

A  funny thing has been happening: nothing.

I have made herculean efforts to get change to occur and then…nothing. People are not responding to my struggles.

I have come to believe there are spiritual obstacles to what I am attempting to do (get the house ready for sale, check out Medicaid eligibility, etc.). I have never put forth so much energy and achieved so little. I am accustomed to getting things DONE.

So I have started to get rid of Barry’s things. I just threw away most of his VHS tapes, many of which I purchased for him before we moved to the house. He has never watched them while we have lived here (for over a decade), so it is not as if I pitched stuff he uses regularly. And, due to the Huntington’s, his awareness of what he even owns is minimal.

What has genuinely surprised me is how viscerally I have reacted. Even though he never watched them, I felt ill getting rid of them. It was like getting punched in the gut. The videos had sentimental value to me that I was clearly unaware of. I bought these videos when he enjoyed them and some of these sets (like “Crusade in Europe” and “World at War”) costs hundreds of dollars.

I am spiritually attached to Barry and his possessions more than I ever knew. I believe everything we touch has our energy attached to it. I have been trying to do things in the least traumatic way possible, and that means gradually. Part of the reason I am trying to simplify everything is because, when the shift does finally occur, things could accelerate quickly and develop a life of their own. I am doing what I can now because I can. Things, for this moment, are still in my hands. That will not remain so forever.

The Buddhists are right. Attachment is the source of suffering. If I am having this deep a reaction just getting rid of old videos, what kind of mess will I be when Barry actually dies?

Lesson: Don’t let yourself get attached to stuff–ever.

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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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