Attachment is a curious thing.
Humans get attached to all sorts of things, and it’s a driving force which can cause us to completely neglect our health and well-being.
Part of the reason for this is because in order to attach ourselves to something, we must inherently give up a part of ourselves to accomodate for this new-found appreciation.
Perhaps we decide to neglect our daily mental health routine because we feel more drawn towards placing our efforts and attentions on our attachment, as opposed to ourselves.
Perhaps we decide to give up on our recovery because of the self-limiting beliefs we hold onto, which prevent us from truly moving on.
And of course, we justify it by saying that our attachment is in fact a part of ourselves, when really that's just a convenient excuse to continue pursuing our obsessions.
A common example of this is when people decide to forgo their daily meditation because they deem that they’re “too busy” to meditate, even though there’s arguably nothing more important than maintaining our mental health.
In other cases, people simply decide to continue playing video games well-beyond their designated bedtime, because they’re too attached to their in-game progressions.
Ultimately, attachment is the exact opposite of what it means to be truly free and indepedent, and when we get trapped within these cycles of attachment it can be very difficult to function at all.
Certainly, part of the battle is that many people haven’t experienced this kind of independence before, but I assure you that once you do, you’ll never want to go back.
We may get attached to simple objects, such as gifts or presents we received as a child. It may be to other people, such as our friends and loved ones. On a more conceptual level, we may even be attached to things like our attitudes and insecurities.
Regardless of what you may be attached to, what we are trying to do with this exercise is understand why we get attached, as well as help identify that feeling of attachment associated with these objects.
Which is to say that while we may know why we are attached, if we cannot identify that feeling of attachment then we're not painting a complete picture of what's actually going on.
Now, there’s a very important reason why we’re focusing on attachment today.
On a very fundamental level, NeverFap Deluxe is all about maintaining balance and it’s almost impossible to maintain balance if we’re also attached to things which disturb that balance.
In fact, any kind of attachment by definition prevents us from maintaining balance because we’re no longer acting out of principle, so much as we’re pursuing our emotions out of desire.
Desire which may not reflect what we hope to achieve with our mental health, let alone with what we may hope to achieve in life.
On the flipside, this also signifies the importance of learning to let go and why letting go is a truly fundamental part of the recovery process.
First as a point of observation, then later as a point of change when you begin practicing meditation and participating in other awareness exercises.
So you’ll be better equiped to dissolve what you’re thinking and feeling, as a simple matter of principle rather than out of circumstance.
I mean, wouldn’t that be awesome. To be able to simply let go of the frustration or sadness you feel within any moment, and simply return back to the present moment?
Well, with practice you can.
I want you to list a number of objects in your life you’re attached to, as well as a number of objects which you feel you aren’t attached to.
It can be plain objects, people or even beliefs.
To provide an example, one object which I’m personally attached to is my laptop stand. I carry it around with me everywhere, and for me it signifies a large part of who I am, in terms of my commitment to my physical and mental health.
Another object I’m attached to my green jacket. It’s the same green jacket I wear every single day, and it represents a large part of my identity.
On a more conceptual level, I’m quite attached to my work. Far more than anything else in life. My work is what gives me purpose and meaning, and I couldn’t imagine living without it.
And a large part of this exercise is to help you become more aware of those things which you need to work on.
In my case, this primarily means making a conscious effort to control my relationship with work and set healthy boundaries, so I can maintain balance in my life.
I find it can really help to simply think about your present situation, rather than try and think back to childhood, but certainly do what works for you.
If you’re struggling with this exercise, then that’s okay. In most cases it’s because this is something you’ve probably never done before.
However that’s also why it’s a great exercise, because we’re learning to think consciously about who we are, which is a skill which will help us approach anything in life with confidence.