Why Being 'Non-Attached' Is The HOLY GRAIL For A Happy Relationship

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Love, Self

Critically important.

Expectations are powerful and can have negative ramifications. Let's say you really love buttered popcorn when you go to the movies; in fact, sometimes you just go to a film for the popcorn. As you're purchasing your ticket, your mouth starts watering as you anticipate that popcorn.

Your significant other suggests you go pick out the seats and they'll get the refreshments. It's getting close to show time, so you agree. By the time your partner gets to the seat with popcorn and drinks in tow, the previews have started.

With your eyes on the screen, you grab some popcorn, pop it in your mouth and practically start choking. Your partner has put soy sauce on the popcorn as a prank! They think it's hilarious but you think what should've been a fun night at the movies has been ruined.

The surprise of the popcorn not adding up to your expectation is what caused you pain, not the soy sauce in it. If you had eaten that popcorn as if you had never had popcorn in your life, without expectations, not only would the popcorn had tasted better, but you wouldn't have become so upset when you were pranked with the soy sauce because you wouldn't have any expectation of how it should taste.

Non-attachment refers to the state of mind of being objective and not holding on to, and it comes from a deep consideration of the conditions of what it means to be human and our relationship with other people, with possessions, and even with our own physical body.

One of the first steps of non-attachment is to understand the importance of living in a way where you go with the natural flow of things and develop a respect for the impermanence of all life. Non-attachment doesn't mean not having any emotions; it means that you relate to them differently because you understand their transitory nature.

When you practice non-attachment, you allow emotions to rise and dissolve; you don't fuel drama or express pain by engaging in negative behaviors. You're not indifferent, you just have perspective and are empowered to live every relationship with love and intensity, but know that it could end at any moment.

In a piece on The Elephant Journal, yoga teacher and writer Raffaello Manacorda writes, "By practicing non-attachment, we become able to endure difficult moments with a certain sense of humor, knowing that this too shall pass. In the same way, we can enjoy the beautiful moments of life without being tainted by the fear that they will end, as they undoubtedly will."

When you aren't connected to a certain outcome, you're able to just enjoy the moment. You're free because you're in charge of your mind and heart instead of them controlling you. 

Manacorda goes on to explain, "Not being attached to success and failure, or pleasure or pain, brings you back into connection with the only thing that is invariably present, stable, and safe: your center of pure awareness and pure love."

When you begin to exercise non-attachment in your close relationships, you start to feel unconditional love, as you won't expect anything in return. You will love without the need to get it back or last forever. Your love will exist on its own, independent of the who or the why of your love.

If the person you loved broke up with you or went away, your love would still be there, ready to focus on someone or something else. Love comes from within you and no one else is responsible for it. When you let go of expectations and attachments, you can love generously.

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