As our life progresses, we get attached to our loved ones, our belongings, our homes and the places where we stay in. As our attachment gets stronger day by day, and as happy and good times roll in, we distance ourselves from a discomforting but important truth: everything is impermanent and the people, things and places that we treasure may be taken away from us any time.
The deepest fear that we all have is fear of loss. In order to manage ourselves better in difficult times, we need to get ourselves prepared that the things that we cherish may be taken away from us any time. We don’t have control over the timing of events that take place in our lives.
As we experience losses in our life, over time, we get a little more immune to them, but we need to constantly remind ourselves, especially in times of joy and celebration, that everything is mortal and has a designated lifespan.
As Epictetus instructs, “Whenever you experience the pangs of losing something, don’t treat it like a part of yourself but as a breakable glass, so when it falls you will remember that and won’t be troubled. So too, whenever you kiss your child, sibling, or friend, don’t layer on top of the experience all the things you might wish, but hold them back and stop them, just as those who ride behind triumphant generals remind them they are mortal. In the same way, remind yourself that your precious one isn’t one of your possessions, but something given for now, not forever…”
We don’t need to constantly keep worrying about the loss of things that are close to us, but we need to start living in the present moment and experience what we have with love and presence. We can remember what Morrie told Mitch in the book Tuesdays with Morrie, “Detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That’s how you are able to leave it.” Once we experience something fully, it gets easier to detach.
What we have around us are gifts and blessings bestowed upon us. We can be grateful for them and enjoy them, but we can’t turn our backs to the fact that they all have a shelf life too.
The more we practice detachment and start living in the moment, the easier it gets to simply accept and fall in love with fate.