Sutra I.15 – Chapter I, Sutra 15

दृष्टानुश्रविकविषयवितृष्णस्य वशीकारसंज्ञा वैराग्यम्॥१५॥

drsta-anusravika-visaya-vitrsnasya-vasikara-samjna-vairagyam

Mastering (vasikara-samjna) detachment (vairagya) occurs when we have no desire or thirst (vitrsnyasa) for objects we can perceive (drsta) and for concepts or objects that we have heard of but never experienced (anusravika).

PRACTICAL LIVING     In the previous two sutras (Sutra I.13 and I.14) we discussed the importance of practice (abhyasa). In this sutra, the other side of the coin is discussed: detachment (vairagya). Let’s remind ourselves that the aim of yoga is to cultivate more self-awareness so that we can make the appropriate changes in our lives to reduce suffering and increase inner peace (Sutra I.2 and I.3). In order to experience this inner peace, Patanjali suggests we commit to practice and practice detachment. It does not say one or the other. We need a balance of both to be calm, peaceful and joyful.

The word vairagya comes from “vi” = without, and “raga” = desire/attachment. Vairagya therefore means without attachment. In the second chapter of the sutras, we will learn (I am giving you a sneak preview) that one of the sources of suffering is over-identifying with external objects, ideas, belief systems. The ego (asmita) needs to attach/cling to something to feel safe. This sutra is telling us that whenever we grab onto an object, it inevitably leads to suffering. Here we are being told we need to detach from 2 different types of things:

(i) Objects we can see (drsta), for example: people, food, alcohol, clothes, advanced asana, specific diets, belief systems…and the list goes and on and on. All of these objects which can be perceived by the 5 senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) distract us, making us believe that happiness or fulfillment is outside of us. A common thought process is “Whenever I: get married, lose 10 lbs, travel to India, become a yoga teacher, win the lottery, move to a better city, have children, change jobs…”, then I will be happy. Patanjali teaches us to practice the art of letting go, of giving these thoughts some space, observing them without grabbing them, detaching from the drama these thoughts create. What drama do you have in your life today that you could step away from and just observe, look at it without attaching to it. Visualize yourself holding in your hand a bird who has been hurt. Give it both support by holding it, and give it enough space to be able to go away when it’s well again. Let’s treat our emotions and thoughts like that as well: observe (that’s the practice), and be willing to make space and let it go…

(ii) Objects we cannot see but only have heard of in ancient scriptures or from other people (anusravika). Often we hear from others concepts that we cannot see: Heaven, enlightenment, higher planes, higher powers…Though there is nothing wrong with believing in these, Patanjali warns us not to attach to these either. Just like the objects which can be seen, desiring these can also lead to suffering. If I grasp on to the idea of experiencing samadhi (the ultimate goal of yoga), I will be frustrated and an unhappy person throughout my journey and that journey will likely be longer. Patanjali suggests: practice, do the work, and then allow space and time for the results to happen in their own time.

IN THE YOGA WORLD     For those of us studying yoga, Patanjali warns us to practice detachment throughout our journeys. It is especially important to become aware when we begin to master certain asana, pranayama, meditation techniques, or lifestyle changes. Observe the achievement, smile🙂 and let it go. Remember the ego (asmita) wants to scream out “Look what I know that you don’t!”. Detachment applies to everything in our lives: family, friends, career, hobbies, mundane interactions…

Vairagya can be divided into two levels: (a) aparavairagya (detachment from worldy objects); and (b) paravairagya (supreme detachment). The process of developing aparavairagya can be illustrated in four stages:

(i) First, we develop the desire to cultivate detachment (vairagya). Here, as we remind ourselves on a daily basis to detach in certain situations, attachment is reduced. This process begins with external objects that we see ourselves desiring to an extent that if we don’t have them, we become agitated (watching too much television, eating too much chocolate, needing a person all the time…).

(ii) With this continuous effort (practice/abhyasa), gradually the attitude of detachment grows – some things will be easy to detach from, others will take more time. Here, we become aware of more subtle things we attach to (judging others, opinions on education, parenting, yoga styles…).

(iii) In this stage the person has mastered all the senses except for one. The last sense to master depends on the nature of the individual. In this stage, we may have mastered almost all of our desires, but the deep rooted ones, which we may have acquired during childhood or even as a fetus, still influence our thoughts and behaviors.

(iv) The last stage is when there is perfect mastery or complete subjugation of all the desires. One is aware of desire and has the ability to observe it and not be tempted by any previous desires, and can prevent being hooked on new ones. This is a very advanced state.

Please note that vairagya does not mean indifference. It means being aware of the “coloring” (see Sutra I.4) that is either happening or may happen to the mind. Every desire/attachment creates its own color in the mind. The moment the mind is colored, a ripple is formed, just as when a stone is thrown into a calm lake, creating waves. Just like the lake, the mind is no longer at peace, and that prevents steady practice (see Sutra I.14) from happening. When you want to do something constantly, your mind cannot be distracted by others desires.

In summary, we are being asked to:

– observe

– change what we need to change to move into a calmer, more peaceful direction (practice/abhyasa)

– allow the results to unfold, let go, make space, breathe and enjoy the ride🙂 (detach, vairagya). This requires a lot of trust/faith in yourself, others and in life (more on this in a few weeks).

INSPIRATIONAL PERSON     For such a profound sutra, I could only think of Patanjali: the brilliant composer of Sutra I.15-Patanjali
this transformative text. We don’t know whether he was one person, or many. We are not exactly sure when he lived. But we do know that this text has had immense power to influence the lives of many throughout millennia. I can only speak from my own experience: for the past 9 years, I have been enjoying the wonderful life lessons this text offers. An amazing teacher, Robert Birnberg (see Sutra I.6) has been interpreting these teachings in very practical, clear and profound ways. I must admit that I need to detach from the belief that these teachings can help everyone🙂 I am practicing holding onto the sutras, as opposed to grabbing on to them. This will help me offer these teachings to those who want them or will benefit from them, allowing others to continue on their own beautiful journeys. Thank you Patanjali for offering the sutras, which I have been studying with vigor, and for the concept of detachment, of which I practice everyday!

Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!

Thanks and we will look at the results of practicing detachment (vairagyam) next week!

31 thoughts on “Sutra I.15 – Chapter I, Sutra 15

  1. So often we are attached to negative thoughts, feelings based on fear. It is impressive that we are also attached to this system of beliefs. Practising detachment from these can be as difficult as practicing detachment from “positive” desires. For me, in order to become lighter, it is crucial to realize our great attachments to negative thinking so as to ALSO try some vairagya there…

  2. This is truely difficult to master. Especially with the Christmas season that has become so much about things you can forget to just enjoy.

  3. I am living this sutra each day. As I have become more self aware I see my strong attachment to many external areas of my life. This extends from objects such as food, exercise, alcohol, career success to my strong desire to do what i love as a yoga teacher. I am learning through my daily practice that true peace comes from within. There is great suffering caused when I attach. The area of attachment that is the strongest right now in my life is my desire to start teaching. I find myself overthinking the when and how’s of this journey which distracts me from really experiencing it. This causes great anxiety in my attempt to control the unknowns. Yet, when I practice varaigya and act each day, I feel so free. This is true beauty.

  4. Pingback: Sutra I.16 – Chapter I, Sutra 16 | weeklysutra

  5. Practicing detachment isa very hard concept to practice. Many of us are attached to the highs and lows of life and have a hard time letting go of those thoughts and experiences even though they result into drastic plunges. Personally, In my yoga practice I have become very attached to vigorous asanas and hated when I wasn’t in a full sweat and my breathe was out of control. I hated when teachers would decide to teach a more restorative class and my mind would become very agitated. I have SLOWLY detached myself those vigoirous classes and now appreciate the sattavic ( balanced) classes where there is mix of challenging/ gently asanas.

  6. Pingback: Sutra I.18 – Chapter I, Sutra 18 | weeklysutra

  7. Detachment is definitely not an easy thing to master. It’s like that saying, “old habits die hard”. This definitely takes a lot of practice. Especially since I have developed a lifetime of habits. One thing I have been trying to detach from lately (unsuccessfully so far) is drinking coke or any other carbonated beverage. It’s just one of those things that when you’re around it so much, it’s just calling your name out to have it. 🙂 This is just one of the many things that I’m trying to detach from, but I’m aware that it will take a lot of practice and not just happen over night.

  8. The older I get, the more I see how important it is to practice detachment. Lifelong accumulations of emotions, people, things, ideas that we are prone to hold on to is just too heavy to carry around! A way that I like to practice detachment off the mat is by breathing in everything about that specific situation, thing, person, emotion that I find myself wanting to hold on to, feeling and accepting all of the emotions that come along with it, and then visualize setting it free as I breathe out. For example, during my most recent semester of school, I had to drop a biology class that I was struggling with mid-semester, and although I was disappointed, frustrated, and a bit angry with myself, I decided to breathe in all of these emotions I wanted to attach to, and then exhale them out of my system. This actually really helped, and I really am not mad at myself about it anymore! I love how in this sutra you point out the ways in which faith in ones self or the universe, or sraddha, and vairagya are intertwined! This gives me a lot of perspective on things. Sraddha is a part of my personal practice and maybe the instillment on sraddha within me is what made letting go of that negative experience possible! Who knows!

  9. ooooooooh detachment haha how hard you can be to do sometimes:) Ive been really trying to detach from things that how no real value in my life…if that makes sense. I used to spend so much time trying to ‘keep up with the jones’ and that didnt make me any happier. Thou I was able to achieve everything I wanted…I wasnt fulfilled but then I changed my way of thinking…got rid of alot of material things..and slowly but surely…the TRUE happiness is following❤

  10. I am trying to detach myself from sugar, but it’s very hard! It has both a physical and mental impact – spike in blood sugar and the related sugar high (almost a rajastic-tamasic cycle with the highs and then crash). By detaching myself from sugar, I feel that it will result in more balance – I just need to focus!

  11. Today I experienced some obstacles… Winter storm Ion hit Chicagoland and I’ve been unable to leave my home and get things done that I’d planned on doing, as my college classes were scheduled to start again tomorrow. Very unfortunately, my sister was also admitted to the hospital and I now find myself at my parents’ home in the suburbs, taking care of our family pets and household chores so my sister will not be left alone and things here will not be left undone. I am not bitter- I am mostly concerned for my sister, but I am realizing after reading about this sutra that the disappointment I’m experiencing may be the result of the attachment I had to my schedule, to all of the things I thought I would do, to my vata lifestyle… I didn’t get to return to my apartment in the city. I wasn’t able to go to a yoga class. Today I must practice detachment from those things, from that lifestyle, because the obstacles that hit my today are much bigger than myself.

  12. I definitely feel that in the aspect of detaching…there is an element of awareness of the present that happens. I won’t lie I’ve been known to attach to people and things and he/she/it becomes my sole focus and I become an addict so-to-speak. I’m so focused on holding onto – clutching onto – that “thing” I forget about being right here, right now. I end up getting frustrated and latching on more only to end up suffocating myself and saying if only when – instead of if only…NOW. I forget that I need to be here now, be happy now. Danielle LaPorte, a blogger I follow, sent an email a while back that has always stuck with me and it was the three little phrases she used to describe detachment and awareness today. Show Up. Shine. Let Go. It’s resonated with me in that dream BIG (become a syndicated yogi blogger/writer and do that for a living), work your butt of to get it started (get that first article published :)) and then let it come into your life as it’s supposed too…don’t force it and don’t focus on it because be happy with how it is right now…because it’s beautiful any way you look at it.

  13. This is a sutra that I can apply to all aspects of my life. The first example that came to mind, however, was my attachment to running. I got very involved with running as a form of exercise but also as an outlet for me to calm my mind. I decided to train for a half marathon, and would run every single day. It got to the point that I truly relied on this hour or so in my day to make myself feel content. If I did not wake up early enough to get a run in, or if i had other plans one day, I would be guilty that I did not get that time in. After my half marathon, I found that my body was so tired. I could not run as far, I developed shin splints, and running no longer was a source of calm it became a frustration. I felt like a failure, and I would go out anyways returning upset. Eventually, I had to learn to let go of the fact that at one point I could run 13 miles and now I can only run about 3 or 4. I had to find other sources of exercise, which is when I became focusing my attention on yoga. By letting this obsession of mine go, I am a much happier person and still try to run a few times a week, much shorter distances to be kind to my body.

  14. This sutra might be my favorite so far, it provides a clear outline of how to live and make improvements in ones life and I think it’s really inspiring. I especially like the reminder “the aim of yoga is to cultivate more self-awareness so that we can make the appropriate changes in our lives to reduce suffering and increase inner peace”, so often (even as yoga teachers) I think we get lost and forget the aim of yoga. We get caught up trying to master our handstands and creating awesome vinyasas that we lose sight of the real goals; self awareness, reducing suffering, increasing peace. I had a yoga teacher that would always say things in class like “just because you use a block doesn’t mean your a bad yogi” and “just because you can pike up in headstand doesn’t mean you’re a great yogi”, reflecting back now I realize that she was pointing to this reminder that extreme asanas are not the aim of yoga. To work towards the aim of yoga which is mentioned here we have to cultivate much more strength than it takes to chaturanga, we have to commit to regular practice and the practice of detachment everyday. This is all easier said than done, but I believe it’s possible and this sutra provides awesome instructions to work with.

  15. I typically use chocolate as my coping mechanism. One super helpful tool you taught me so I could work on the first stage of aparavairagya was to stop myself right before I have the impulse to go and eat chocolate and just notice how I’m feeling.Once I’ve done that, I can choose to still eat the chocolate or not but the practice is more about developing self-awareness. At first, I almost always went for the chocolate no matter what. Now that I’ve been working on this effort for some time, if I do find that I am going for a treat for negative reasons, I’m able to detach from the chocolate, acknowledge what is making me upset, and attempt to let it go. It doesn’t always work successfully, but it’s a practice I can maintain and slowly develop to help me detach. Thank you for giving me this tool.🙂

  16. I have been holding onto concepts/ideas/preconceptions of what I would need in order to achieve happiness. From the more shallow concepts of being “skinny” throughout the college years to the fear of monotony and always changing environments in order to somehow prove or disprove if the grass is indeed greener on the other side.

    I have been moving around for quite some time and I often struggle with the thought that I perhaps have been moving around not out of sense of adventure but instead out of fear. Fear of somehow failing at a “normal” life or somehow get bored with routine(s). It’s hard to detach from our perceptions of who we are, who we should be or could be and we tend to hold onto expectations that are most likely formulated on misperceptions. Working on letting go and instead accepting and embracing is something my personal yoga practice is teaching in a very fundamental and physical level. This detachment process can start to move on from a physical level to a personal level.

  17. My brother in law can be very opinionated, which leads me to a story I would like to tell about this past weekend. My husband and his brother were siting having coffee last Saturday. I woke up to a very intense conversation about going to graduate school to get your MBA. My brother in law went to a very prestigious MBA program and has nothing but positive experiences to draw from. However, when speaking to my husband, his ego and attachment to this MBA program were evident because he made it seem like this was the only way my husband could further his career. I, all at once, said outload: “I believe that whatever he does, either go to MBA school, or not, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be successful.” I think that this might be my own detachment of the situation, holding my husband’s career in the palm of my hand and just observing. Knowing that, of course, specific actions and practice will need to be made to further one’s career, but also letting go of the path that he will take to get there. It is such a refreshing way to look at things!

  18. I am confused about how detachment fit with “learning”. Let’s say I learned that sugar has a negative impact on my wellbeing, I made and effort to eliminate it from my diet. And in a way am I now obsessed about not eating it? Or would it be “attachment”, say, only if I freak out about the idea of having something with sugar?
    Perhaps detachment is about having opinions and preferences and yet be just fine if the circumstances bring about something “against” those.¬

    • The concept of vairagya, or detachment is HUGE. Detachment can be understood and practiced on so many different layers. In your example, moving from gross to subtle, there is detachment from: 1) sugar, 2) the results of your efforts to not eat sugar, 3) the judgment to eating sugar, 4) the rigidity of the idea of not eating sugar, 5) perfectionism…and the list goes on and on. This can be applied to every action, every thought and everything that we believe in. Patanjali is saying detachment is a continuous practice in itself, and one that allows us to live more lightly. Makes sense?

  19. With this week’s sutra, I am thinking about a somewhat new work relationship that I have, in which as part of my position, I am situated in between multiple parties and act as a facilitator/massager to get things done. When the process works, it’s very easy and simple – I do my job, everybody does theirs, and everything is smooth. However, when things don’t go well, or there is a break in communication or process, I become a pressure point on both sides. This is very difficult for me, and I have a very hard time “making” people do things that they don’t want to do, or don’t consider important.

    I am attempting to master detachment from the results of my efforts – there’s only so much I can do! And I try to not feel despair when my actions do not have the expected outcome. I can feel myself getting better at detaching from the threat of failure, and I can also feel myself growing in capability as I realize that it’s simply not necessary for me to keep putting myself in the crosshairs…

    In this particular instance I am working on reducing my desire for the approval of others, and being satisfied knowing I tried to the best of my ability – I cannot control others nor their opinions of me, the work I do, the priority they give me (or it), etc.

  20. It is human nature to want to hold on to labels, especially when they are connected with status. For example, “I live in Beverly Hills.” “I’m a doctor.” “I have a Prada purse.” “I am the 1%.” We desperately cling to these labels and hold the mistaken belief that these are the things that define us. Even if all the above labels are true, they are not who we are. My friend G, who I mentioned in my comments to the previous sutra, would often say that if you took people deep into the woods, stripped them of all their clothing, job titles, cars, and possessions, and asked them to survive, you would really see who they were. That is the concept of purusha–what is there when the prakriti fades away? Some people don’t even know and will never find out. Happily, those of us who study yoga are moving closer to the answer. Guess you could say that in this regard, we are the 1%.

  21. One major principle in my life is community. I’m drawn to environments where community amongst individuals is created through similar interests, and with that camaraderie (hopefully), positive interactions occur. As like many preceding posts, I can admit to having an addiction: an addiction to others’ company. With my job in theatre, I am constantly around new people, environments, groups. In yoga studios, I’m around new teachers, classmates, friends. Living with 3 roommates, someone is always home to chat with, cook with, etc. I’ve cultivated this attachment of others’ company out of the fear of “being alone”. It’s the age old worry for people “Will I end up alone in life?” Of course, I could ramble on about all of my internal worries about being alone, but this is a post about DETACHMENT😉 Looking at the steps of detachment listed, I can see I’m somewhere around step 2. Rather than moaning, groaning, and having a flurry of negative thoughts when alone, I try to cherish the moment. Thank god it’s a practice because I am not the best at detaching from others… But one step step step at a time!

  22. The philosophy behind detachment is understandable, but the practice of it in certain areas in my life is definitely difficult. I guess it is fear that holds me back. Fear that if I don’t care so much or obsess over how to attain these personal goals that my life will pass me by and I will have done nothing I had hoped to do. How to practice detachment and not indifference is where I find myself on certain issues.

  23. I try to practice detachment, but that goes out the window during situations where I have feel too comfortable. Comfort cause by being so attached. My mother raised me to not depend on anyone else but yourself. Somewhere in her lessons I thought, if I become too attached to something or someone- I’ll loose myself. I found that to be untrue in a lot of situations so I practice moderation.

  24. I struggle with detachment. I am a living example of someone who greatly depends on the results of their actions. I would have never thought this until I really reflected on what causes me anxiety. I am currently waiting to hear of I was cast in a show. I have a serious issue with checking my phone every 10 minutes, being distracted when I try to type this response, or holding a conversation that doesn’t somehow work it’s way to telling the person I haven’t heard back for a show I was called back for this week. It drives me crazy. I know I should just let it go and focus on how much I love to sing and not whether or not I have been cast, but I just struggle with this so much. I need to remember that I will find out soon and that it doesn’t change anything about my singing/acting abilities or me if I was cast or not.

  25. Oh detachment is overrated🙂 . Actually, it’s a very challenging thing to do. For me, when it comes to food, i detached myself from the desire of eating steaks for about a year now. Last month, when i came to a company dinner, they had steaks there, i tried it and the next day it didnt sit well for me. So, i didn’t fully commit to my “steak detachment” and paid the consequence; that is, my tummy is not acquainted to steaks or beef any more. I am not vegetarian by any means, but I realize i could go without meat easily. When i am really really hungry, i could eat anything; a grilled cheeze sandwich or a full grilled chicken meal is about the same. To me, protein is protein, whether coming from plant base or animal base, doesnt make any difference. My colleague, who returned from China for a customer meeting, said they they invited him to a dinner with dishes including delicacy of pig tails (hundreds of tiny little pig tails). He expressed his sympathy for the pigs: hundreds of them died just for a dish served to humans?!?. It’s been about year that my diet includes vegetarian meals half of the week and chicken or fish the other half. So if anyone asks, i say i am “half vegetarian”, at 34. By the time i am 40, i wish i could fully convert to a true 100% vegetarian.

  26. “In summary, we are being asked to:
    – observe
    – change what we need to change to move into a calmer, more peaceful direction (practice/abhyasa)
    – allow the results to unfold, let go, make space, breathe and enjoy the ride🙂 (detach, vairagya). This requires a lot of trust/faith in yourself, others and in life (more on this in a few weeks).”

    This particular sutra hits home with me in regards to (of all things!) my finances. I have accrued a significant amount of student debt from college. I graduated in 2011, and since then I have (thankfully!) had a job that allows me to make a significant amount of money. However, I’ve never been good with budgeting and finances. And I’ve realized lately, that it’s not that I’m not good at it because I have a “deficiency” in learning about finances; rather, I simply haven’t paid enough attention to mine.

    The other night I was complaining about them to my boyfriend. He then suggested, in a non-judgemental way, that perhaps I need to pay more attention to them and take better control of my financial situation. At first this angered me! I felt as though I was being accused of being a deadbeat and out of control. After those thoughts quickly came and left, it made me realize that I am allowing myself to suffer from fear and ignorance over my financial situation. I have the resources and salary to pay off my loans MUCH quicker than I am allowing myself to. In short, I have begun the journey this sutra is talking about by becoming more in control of my financial situation and not victimizing myself over something I can change. Since then, I have 1) observed my financial situation by going through an entire year of my checking account and categorizing purchases, creating graphs, etc. Now I am in phase 2) to change what I need to change by creating a budget for myself, setting realistic goals to pay off my loans, and making sacrifices by detaching myself from the external objects that tempt me into the mindless purchasing cycle. I haven’t reached the 3rd step (hell, I’m still in the beginning stages of the 2nd!), but once I have achieved the first two, I will then allow the results to unfold by letting go and making more space- detaching. I trust in myself to pay off my student loan debt and make my financial situation better!

  27. I am positive that there are ads in one of my open tabs right now. I see products flashed on TVs, billboards, hear them on the radio and before movies. I have no tangible experience with any of these products, but I want them (some of them). I try not to distract or appease myself with material items, but…I like pretty things. I know that some of these things are being programmed into me by the media, but…music, food, and fashion excite me. I will continue to keep an awareness that these things are ephemeral and perhaps when I am 100 years old I will know how to enjoy them in just the right way for the right reasons. This is at least possible considering my taste for fancy cars and owning a boat has faded away🙂

  28. What a powerful sutra! This whole process of Teacher Training has unearthed a million and one questions. This sutra in particular, because I struggle with detachment a lot. I know I need to learn how to detach, and I know it will take time to learn how to detach, but I’m constantly bogged down by things I’m gripping onto. Letting go is not one of my strong suits and lately I find myself gripping onto things much more than I used to. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or what, but I find myself in a panicked state. I’m worried about losing things I don’t even have. I always think if I had this I’d be happy. If I didn’t have that I’d be happy. But as I even think about letting those things go, I get anxiety. It may be misery but at least I know what it is. The unknown future freaks me out even more – but what if the future is AMAZING!?! What if the future is easier than it is now? What if? What if? What if?

  29. The concept of detachment is so difficult to understand in our culture where we attach ourselves to so many things that we see. This sutra reminds me to be very mindful of how I relate to objects and experiences in my own life. I am always amazed by people who live a beautifully simplistic life–such as people who have chosen a minimalist lifestyle. I may not be able to complete detach from all objects and experiences in my life yet, but I should be more mindful of the attachments I am displaying in my life and try to incorporate this sutra into my life in small ways. For instance, by recognizing the objects in my home that are taking up too much space, I can let them go. Even though that is simple example, sometimes this is incredibly hard for me. I need to begin on this very concrete level if I plan to move toward detachment from larger concepts.

  30. I have used this Sutra many times I the past year, and I continue to remind me of it almost daily. As a therapist, I use it with my clients often. Combined with awareness, letting go of the attachment to exterior objects, desires, people, goals, ways of thinking and viewing people, allows for peace. I recently had an experience where I had plans to meet with a group at 7:30 a.m. to drop someone off at the airport ( my son and daughter in law to be specific), and I was going to tag along so I would have some time to spend individually with my other son who was driving them. When I came downstairs to meet them a few minutes before the scheduled time, I realized they had already left. They were ready early and did not want to wake me. I was very upset and hurt by this. I struggled with letting go of this hurt and wanting to find out whose idea it was to leave early so I could point my disappointment and hurt in their direction. But, I did not want to be angry ( awareness) and so I went for a beautiful early morning walk, alone, and my “Mantra” was let go, do not fill up with anger, let in the beautiful morning… I had to walk and breathe for a good thirty minutes, but when I was almost back to the house my son whom I had wanted to spend time with pulled up next to me in the car, and we went out on the porch and had a beautiful breakfast and loving conversation together. Had I held on to my hurt (being left out) I would have missed the time that was what my original intention was anyway. Realizing that perhaps he and his brother also needed that time on the way to the airport. It was work to get to the open place away from hurt, but the rewards were much greater.

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