Rare View

Detached Attachment – Or How Not to Take Things Personally

Remember: You're just the instrument.

Here’s a mantra that works very well for me, why don’t you try it? “It’s not personal.” Simply repeat this to yourself several times a day or week or month. Here are some scenarios where it really works.

If you’re having a bad day – say the domestic help hasn’t turned up or there’s a pile of work waiting on your desk and you’ve shot the deadline and your kid is unwell and has to be rushed to the doctor or your pet just died or your boyfriend of five years casually called you by another woman’s name while you were discussing movie plans or your favourite outfit tore in the washing machine or your blog readers left nasty comments for you or your teenage son or daughter just told you how much they hate you – tell yourself, “It’s not personal.”

And it’s not. Everyone is acting out from their own space of consciousness and being, and the universe is compassionately neutral in its handing out of sorrows and injustices. It’s not you. Be reassured that you’re just the instrument chosen to go through the process.

And if you’re having a good day – say you made a breakthrough in your scientific research or your book hit the bestseller charts or your son or daughter just came and gave you a big hug and told you how wonderful you are or you just made a million dollars or your mother-in-law praised you to her son or you won a Padma Bhushan – tell yourself, “It’s not personal.”

And it’s not. Everyone is acting out from their own space of consciousness and being, and the universe is compassionately neutral in its handing out of joys and pleasures. It’s not you. Be grateful that you were the instrument chosen to go through the process.

My favourite Buddhist monk Nichiren said, “Suffer what is there to suffer; enjoy what is there to enjoy.” Feel it, process it, live it. Develop detached attachment and equanimity in the face of both loss and gain.

And remind yourself, “It’s not personal.”

Lead image (L-R): Me with Kaveri Jain and Versha Khanna at eShe’s Shine Your Light Mumbai

First published in eShe’s July 2019 issue

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