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The Beauty in Detachment

Practicing detachment - a consistent and tough job! Still, somehow I know it is detachment, and not blindly holding on tightly to what I love, that will bring me some happiness. Author Thomas Bien posits that happiness, like life itself, is only made possible through impermanence. Knowledge can outgrow ignorance, children can move into adulthood and caterpillars can become butterflies - all because they are not permanently rooted. I drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park to visit my son, Matt, this week and found myself wallowing around in the ideas surrounding impermanence. The ashes of his body not drawn under the dirt have long since blown away from the "permanent" resting place we chose for him, yet still I choose to visit this beautiful mountain area, feeling that we are both somehow permanently attached to it. The spring and summer weeks continue to remind me that I can never permanently hold on or control anything. Grandchildren have graduated and set their courses for places outside my circle, family members moved into new, loving relationships, leaving places and people formerly attached to them, and dear friends, facing their own death, are preparing to journey beyond life as I understand it. Sitting on my usual rock at Matt's "burial spot" in RMNP I ponder the idea that this concept called impermanence has never really been the cause of my unhappiness. Instead, not accepting it's truth has kept me locked in a struggle. Change, loss, flow are reality; when I fight reality, I've noticed it always wins. To flow with life, an ever-changing reality, is to stop struggling to control it. Note to self: happiness is waiting for you to stop resisting what is!


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