Attachment vs Detachment
Recently I looked at a show called “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo. As a person who wanted order in her life I was attracted to this show because Marie took a holistic approach to tidying up the clutter in many of her client’s homes and by extension their lives. It is amazing how attached we become to things, even a seemingly trivial item as clothing. One guy in the show while they were sorting out clothing and having to let go of some saying that a particular T-shirt was very comfortable and he wanted to keep it and his wife chimed in asking when was the last time had he worn that T-Shirt.
It is very easy to become attached to many things and to people and begin to believe that I cannot live without it or them. This came home to me when I recently changed ministry (job) and I realised how attached I had become to this particular position of the ministry. In retrospect I now see that I had found my identity in that position and had become attached to it, which made it very difficult when I had to let go of it and move on to a new ministry.
A great Dominican saint Meister Eckhart believed that God is reached by the detachment of emptying the mind of concepts, images, and symbols. He believed that compulsions or attachment hinder the self’s union with God. Therefore, Eckhart believed that he must become the empty vessel that God fills.
In the show “Tidying Up” Marie taught her clients who were families how they must be grateful for what they have by thanking it. She taught them how to thank the house and the items they had in their house, including their clothing. She also helped them to let go of things they no longer needed or had too many of. The owners of these items all shared after how light and free of clutter they and their home felt. They even shared how all of the ‘tidying up’ had a positive impact on their relationship with their spouses and children.
What are the things or persons that you have become so attached to that you feel you cannot live without?
What are you being called to let go of, so that you can become an empty vessel for God to fill?
Sr. Lystra Long, OP
St. Joseph, Trinidad & Tobago