I read the book, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom back when I was graduating high school and it changed my life. It helped me make some tough decisions and really be able to get through stressful times. I wanted to make sure I shared it on this blog. The book is about a guy who visits his old dying professor/mentor Morrie and writes down his lessons on life. I highly recommend it.
“What I’m doing now is detaching myself from the experience.”
“Yes. Detaching yourself. And this is important – not just for someone like me, who is dying, but for someone like you, who is perfectly healthy. Learn to detach.”
But wait, I said. Aren’t you always talking about experiencing life? All the good emotions, all the bad ones?
Well, how can you do that if you’re detached?”
“… detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience *penetrate* you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you *fully*. That’s how you are able to leave it.
Take any emotion – love for a woman, or grief for a loved one…. if you hold back on the emotions – if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails.
But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. … I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.”
Same for loneliness: you let go, let the tears flow, feel it completely – but eventually be able to say, ‘All right, that was my moment with loneliness. I’m not afraid of feeling lonely, but now I’m going to put that loneliness aside and know that there are other emotions in the world, and I’m going to experience them as well.”
I remembered this today as an important additive to my new found positive outlook on all situations. For the past few months, I have been looking for silver linings. I have been learning to change things about myself and mindset. As I’ve written before, a lot of times, our experiences in life makes us feel justified in our actions and feel entitled to being an asshole.
Things go wrong all the time and whether its my own fault or out of my control, I don’t want to sit in sadness because of it. I used to let myself go through bouts of depression, negativity and hopelessness before getting up and taking over the world but that doesn’t work anymore. No one really cares what you’re going through, you don’t get a ‘get out of jail free’ card just because you’ve had a bad day.
I have never been happier in my life, now that I am being positive throughout every facet of my life.
Well, today I felt especially upset over a situation (out of my control) and I let it consume me for longer than I’d like. I’ve read somewhere that any feeling you experience in response to a stimuli should only last 12 minutes and that anything longer is in your own control, the rumination is in your hands. So I reminded myself of Morrie’s lesson of detachment.
I wholeheartedly feel everything, be it sadness, anger or even bliss and I must detach myself from my own disappointment. Absolutely no luck, experience, person or event will change my path.
Hopefully, soon I can sit down and update this blog on how my life has changed and all the new opportunities that have arisen.