I’ve been thinking a lot lately about non-attachment, specifically as it relates to our identity, or I-am-ness. We can tend to build up these tags that we attach to our lives in an effort to create a story about who we are. As a friend of mine put it recently, it’s sort of like we are trying to have the correct identity bullet points to share with people at parties.
We attach to these outside ideas and hang our hat on them to declare that “I am a writer”, or “I am vegan”, etc. But these outside things will never really be who we are. They are just the stories we tell ourselves and others. And at some point we realize that the stories and our true self are not the same thing.
As the Yoga Sutras put it, the cause of suffering is the association or identification of the seer with the seen. I’ve been trying to think a lot about the identities that I’ve assumed for myself over the years and to bring some conscious awareness to them.
It’s not that you stop doing the things you have always loved doing or that which you want to pursue in life, it’s just that you realize that those things are not who you are. That you are more than a collection of bullet points. And when we can do that, when we can disassociate the seer with the seen, then we get closer to our true self. It’s amazing how difficult that can be.