Grandmother sees her little granddaughter crying by the lake. She says, "Why are you crying, little one?" The little child cries, "My butterfly flew away. I loved him so much! I caught him in this jar, but somehow he got free." Grandmother took the child in her arms and gave her a big hug. They embraced a minute, and then the child let go. "How would it be if I hugged you and never let you go?" "That's silly, Grandma! I would be stuck to you and wouldn't be able to do anything else." "That's right, little one. When we cling to people and things it keeps us stuck. When we release them, allowing them to fly as they will, it sets US free! From now on, when you see a butterfly, be reminded of this lesson: Avoid being too attached to things and too clingly to people. Keep your freedom, my child, and instead of crying, you will be flying!"
When we become too attached to things, it causes suffering when they are gone. When we can come to an awareness that our attachment is the root of our suffering, we release ourselves. This is not always easy to do, when the thing lost is an expensive object or a sentimental keepsake. Enjoy what you have while you have it, and then release it when it's time has come to leave your life. With the release of the attachment, it frees you. Let us look at an example. In 1984, I had made my black belt in Kenpo karate. I prized this achievement and had kept my black belt for many years, with the intention that I would have it forever. Well, as most things are in life, our time together was limited. I lost it in a move, never really knowing where it went. At first this caused me some sadness and self judgement for not having been more careful. But then I realized, it was releasing me from a past part of my life that had been long over, and was essentially useless, since I never will train again due to physical issues. As a matter of fact, its presence in my life actually mad me feel a bit sad every time I looked at it, reminding me of what I had lost physically. So by the mysterious departure of the black belt, I was free of all of it. It felt good. I was able to move forward emotionally.
- Have been holding onto something that causes you to feel trapped in the past.
- Is there something you are attached to so much that you won't be able to let it go when the time comes?
- Are you too clingy to the people you love? Hug them often, but let them go too.
- Is there something you have lost that still causes you to suffer? It is time to move forward. Things fall away to allow us to move forward.
Laura Barrette Shannon