Silly attachment?

Witnessing attachment all over. Within myself. In my beloved family members. In people standing in front of me in the queue to the boat shuttle to Saint-Tropez. In parents scolding their children at restaurants. 

Everywhere. Attachment to a specific outcome. To a certain way of doing things. Of how to behave, act, speak. 

And specifically – attachment to our own thoughts. If the thoughts we got attached to were thoughts with pleasant accompanying feelings, well, it wouldn’t really be so bad would it? But so much of the attachment is to the thoughts with accompanying feelings leading to damning results. Where I storm off, feeling totally insulted, belittled, ashamed, embarrassed… All because a thought popped into my mind, generating this feeling, and then *magic trick* having me believe in it! How I wish I had a magic trick to reverse that, making me un-believe it. Because so often what I get attached to is just plain silly stuff, that really don’t matter at all in the big picture. What do I want to spend my time and energy on? Attachment to small petty stuff, really not anchored in values and virtues that I would like to be associated with, both when I think about me and when other people do? Or truly, living my values, making them a way of my Now, painting the picture of my every moment in shades and hues of those very values and virtues? Why do I let attachment to silly stuff stop me, from living my values? And does it?

How do you Do virtues?

I listened to Parker Palmer giving this commencement address to the graduating class at Naropa University, and several times I got goose bumps and shivers. For me, those have become telltale signs that there’s something important and/or very true being shared.


The six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I followed my urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts. You can read my thoughts on the first, second, third, fourth and fifth suggestion here.

BoldomaticPost_Daily-keep-your-death-beforeThe sixth suggestion is: ”Daily, keep your death before your eyes.” – St Benedict

If you hold a healthy awareness of your own mortality, your eyes will be opened to the grandeur and glory of life, and that will evoke all of the virtues I have named, as well as those I haven’t, such as hope, generosity and gratitude. 

We get to chose what virtues we hold high, which ones we try to model in the world. And the beauty is, we get a new chance to do so – model it, I mean – over and over again, moment by moment. And in a strange way, there is no tomorrow. Well, of course there is a tomorrow, but postponing my way of showing up in the world until tomorrow, that’s risky business. Because you might not be around tomorrow, and that’s a fact. There will come a tomorrow when I am not here, in this form at least, and the worst thing about that for me would be if I never got around to showing up as me, with my virtues and values held high, because I kept pushing it forward to the next moment, the next moment, the next moment.

Yes, it can be tricky to live according to your values. We are only human after all. That’s why it’s so important to be gentle with ourselves in our humanness. At the same time – it will never get less tricky, less awkward, less strange and unfamiliar, if I don’t start to act in accordance with my view of these virtues. And that’s actually something to ponder as well. I mean – virtues are all fine and dandy, love, hope, understanding, generosity, gratitude and so on. But how do I do them? How to express them in the world? How do I live in accordance with them, so that my actions mimics my beliefs? How do you do love for instance? Or gratitude?