Are you in possession of something or is something possessing you?
Anything that you cling on to is bound to bring you grief. Because you will first be consumed by your fear that you may lose it. Second, you will eventually end up grieving over its unavoidable loss – whenever that happens. Because, everything that you cling on to today will be lost surely someday! This doesn’t mean you give up everything. It doesn’t mean you renounce. It only means stop ‘clinging on’ to whatever is making you fearful or sad or both __ memories, things, people, habits, opinions, whatever.
A friend of ours owns a 2000 square-foot apartment in the heart of Chennai. The value of the real estate is a few crore rupees. He has been wanting to rent it out but strangely there have been no takers. So, earlier this year, he decided to sell it. But for almost four months now he has not been able to find a buyer. Every deal falls through at virtually the last minute. Our friend confesses that he has been losing sleep over this property jinx for several months now. His grief: for all his financial prudence, he is unable to plug the losses he is incurring over this dead – and locked up – investment in the past year!
This is a classic example of the possessor (my friend) being possessed by his possession (the property). His grief is palpable. With due respect to his financial acumen, I hope he realizes, sooner than later, that it is simply not worth it for anyone to be ‘losing sleep’ over ‘losing money’. The solution obviously is not to let go of the investment. But to let go of the expectation that just because there is an investment, it must yield returns. My friend can end his suffering, and get over his grief, if he awakens to the fact that his investment is not wrong, but his expectation of a yield from the investment, in a time-frame he expects, is what is holding him to ransom.
Clearly, Life doesn’t work the way we want it to just because we have drawn up blueprints and excel sheets. The humbling truth is that the more we cling on to plans or expectations based on our plans, the more we will suffer and grieve.
I have learned that clinging on to something actually ends up making you feel vulnerable and the opposite of being in control when you understand the vicious game your mind plays on you! While you are physically in possession of something, and you think you are in control, the truth is that the ‘something’ is controlling you. The mind loves dependence. It needs a crutch. And in your clinging on to many things at various times the mind exults at the innumerable possibilities for dependence. So, in effect, over time, your mind controls you, leads you and directs you. It is like being in a car where the driver has been rendered powerless and the car drives itself to wherever it feels like!? Do you even think this is normal? This is what has happened to each of us because of our ruinous tendency to ‘cling on’!
What are you clinging on to? To understand this, ask yourself what’s possessing you – a thought, an opinion, a suspicion, an object, money, property, a relationship or perhaps a habit? Simply un-cling. And watch how you feel. With your feet no longer chained to the ground, un-clinging sets you free! As Mevlana Jalauddin Rumi, the 13th Century Persian poet has said: ‘You were born with wings; why prefer to crawl through Life?”