One of the things I teach in my Reiki classes is the value of nonattachment. It’s a simple concept, but not exactly easy to embody. Desire for a goal can be so intense that we might not notice when something even better comes along. The trick is in asking for what you want and trusting Reiki to bring you what you really need, even if it’s something altogether different. The longer I do this work, the more certain I become that Reiki is wiser than I am.
An episode of The Simpsons pops into my mind every time I think of unhealthy attachment. Curiously, this particular scene has stuck in my memory for nearly thirty years even though it’s been well over a decade since I’ve watched the show. Clearly it made a strong impression!
Homer gets his arm stuck in a vending machine while trying to get a free soda. Emergency personnel are summoned and one of them is about to cut off the trapped arm when another asks, “Homer, are you just holding onto the can?”
Rather than letting go of the fizzy sugary drink to free himself, he continued to hold on tightly. This is what unhealthy attachment looks like! Poor guy nearly had his arm amputated (both arms, actually. I don’t recall why, but he somehow got the other one stuck in a different vending machine as only Homer could…) because he didn’t want to let go.
Real life isn’t as obvious, nor as humorous. It can be easy to lose sight of the big picture and dig in your heels to keep a job, identity, or relationship that just isn’t working because an alternative isn’t clear. Change can be scary; the unknown even more so.
We don’t need to know all the answers to release attachment. We just need to be willing to consider alternatives. It’s usually not necessary to make a total leap of faith, although I’ve done just that several times and landed happily on greener grass. Most of the time, however, I’ve just relaxed my death grip on the soda can and paid attention when other opportunities presented themselves.
You might be asking; how do I know what to let go of? Buddhists believe that all attachments lead to suffering. While this may be true, I recognize the unlikelihood that many will pursue complete and utter nonattachment. So, my suggestion is to begin by letting go of the ones that cause the greatest harm to your wellbeing.
This is where Reiki comes in handy. It can help you see clearly where suffering is optional and connect to your inner wisdom to make the best possible choices. Students and clients alike report that once they make the decision to let go, the universe provides unexpected openings. Reiki can also help provide access to the courage and motivation to follow through on the prospects that appear.
If you’re seeking more peace and happiness in your life, you’d likely benefit from being less like Homer. Whatever you’re holding onto that is causing you pain is unlikely to be on your path. Let it go before the emergency crew arrives with a saw and you’ll find life’s transitions to be much less uncomfortable.
Marianne Williamson says that if a train does not stop at your station, it’s not your train. Reiki can help you trust that your train will always stop for you. It’s a simple matter of taking a class, setting your intention, and applying healing energy on a consistent basis. Anyone can do it. If that seems like too much work, a practitioner can provide the same service. It’s really that easy.