detachment . . .
I was thinking that maybe the Buddhists have it right. That detachment is the key to peace of mind. That doesn’t mean that you have to barricade the door to your mind by putting up imaginary chairs to keep desires and willfulness at bay. Just be with whatever is, and maybe the door will open on its own and the room of your mind will clear out eventually. They say that the practice of meditation helps. I think that awakening or the dawning of a realization might also be key in this ongoing process.
One of my pet problems is wishing that things were different. Or worse, wanting to change people’s behavior when it is who they are. I mean, you can’t just love the parts that you like. You also need to love the parts that drive you crazy. Detachment from how someone behaves, not worrying about whether they will succeed or whether their conflicts will be resolved; even watching them not succeed without withdrawing yourself is a big deal.
My life has been dedicated to problem-solving. Given that responsibility early on and making my way in the world whether it had to do with raising a family and keeping it together, or in mid-life, entering the biotech start-up industry and given (over)-responsibility to succeed for the company’s sake (“make or break”) have honed my skills and shaped my personality. Some of it worked and succeeded beyond measure. What’s left has sometimes resulted in my feeling responsible where I don’t need to, at least not at this stage in my life.
Wow. I may no longer be responsible for seeing that someone or something survives. I’ll remember that this realization occurred to me today. I can finally detach myself from the yoke of needing to save someone from failure. I don’t have to catch the vase before it crashes to the ground. One of the CEOs I worked for said that he had observed that as my greatest gift: to watch a crisis build on the project team, and to catch it before it hit the fan. No wonder I have defined myself as such an obsessive worrywart.
When I take a good look around me this morning, nothing is actually falling apart. Yes, the new pump to our geothermal system is not engaged properly as yet–but that is a mere engineering problem and it is not life threatening. I cleaned up the kitchen counter from last night’s debris so that it is orderly again while we have breakfast. It rained hard last night but we closed the windows. The air is cooler and dry today. I can go back to reading the newspaper and drinking my coffee. Now that I am detached from the idea that there is something waiting to be saved in my world today.