Q: Dear Todd, I understand the attachment/pain, we all die in the end, but how can you not be attached to your loved ones/family, etc? How to practice non-attachment as a family person?
Todd Answers: I know it seems strange at first, but the more we examine it, the more we will find that love without possessiveness or clinginess is a far greater and more powerful love. This is truly unconditional love.
When we love with attachment, we love with stress and anxiety too, constantly worrying, even
if it’s imperceptible. This subconscious stress is subconsciously perceived by the people we love and it can create an atmosphere of stress and tension.
With mindfulness, we will see that detached love is even more generous and caring. There is no fear or negativity that comes with this kind of love. I know in our current culture, especially Western culture which tries to hide death from the living, this kind of love can seem strange. And I don’t mean to suggest that there should be no feelings of sadness when we lose a loved one. But with mindfulness, we will see our sadness is more about our loss than the person we lost.
With mindfulness, we will feel all of the emotions of loss, fully and deeply, but we won’t become lost in our feelings. We will feel and think about our loved ones consciously and intentionally. We will remember that all pain of loss comes from feelings of love and joy we had with that person, and so in this way, we won’t simply get swept away by the grief, but we will be able to sit with it, sit with joy as well, and be at peace.
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