By Nadine Saad
Do you ever wonder why the emotions you want to feel don’t last as long as you'd like them to, when the emotions you don’t want to feel can’t seem to leave you quickly enough?
The answer could very well be: attachment.
Amongst the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha identified attachment as the root of all suffering. To be more specific, getting attached - or clinging - to the desire to have and the desire not to have.
This tends to be where we get into trouble with our emotions. By trying to cling onto the emotions that we desire to feel, and trying to cling onto avoiding those we’d rather not feel.
I used to grapple with this, getting stuck in a loop of seeking to feel as "positive" as I could at all costs, and trying to shut off any "negative" emotions. That is, until I developed a healthier perspective, through which I could appreciate emotions as a natural and important part of my personal growth, and let go of judging them.
Whilst it's important to foster a growth-oriented outlook on life, sometimes our attempts to achieve positivity can reinforce unhelpful patterns of attachment to our emotions. Toxic positivity can do a lot more harm than good.
It's also important to recognise what's happening at a deeper level here: whether consciously or unconsciously, it's very easy for us to attach the stories of our lives to the emotions we experience.
But the more you cling onto certain emotions and/or cling onto trying to avoid other emotions, the more you’re likely struggle with them.
The remedy? Non-attachment.
Our emotions are energy that’s naturally meant to flow. All of our emotions are impermanent waves. If we simply allow them to flow without attachment, they're able to come and go naturally.
I want to stress an important distinction here between non-attachment and detachment. Because the solution is not to disengage from our emotions, but to feel them and allow them to be present, no matter what comes up. Simply letting them be.
And funnily enough, this is the secret to letting go of emotions more easily.
If this is something you would like support with, Emotional Wisdom is my offer to help you with navigating your emotions. With this offer, I give you 1:1 support to understand and work through the emotions you experience more effectively, as well as tools that you can use by yourself after our time together has concluded.
Full details are available here.