Clinging to Non-Attachment as my son left for college

I have stayed pretty faithful to my intention of this blog as the introduction of my novel, “Inside the River,” as well as holding the vision of Ang Lee directing the movie version of my book (although he doesn’t know it yet).  I have sprinkled in some yoga as my practice informs me in countless ways.

I know that people from all over the world have somehow read my words.  But, on this blog, I will dabble into something deeply personal as a way of honoring where I am at in this moment.

I recently dropped my oldest son off to college.  Eighteen years ago, when he was born, I looked into his eyes for the first time, and promised him I would let him go when he was older so he could explore this world without feeling limited by my needs.  Of course, I was blown away by the love I felt for this little life, but my love was linked to this hard truth from his first breath.

I didn’t start practicing yoga until he was around four and so as I began to delve deeply into the practice of yoga beyond the physical poses, the concept of non-attachment felt like the whisper I’d somehow heard before.  Non-attachment is setting an intention and then letting go of the result (or the expectation of the result you really want).  It is incredibly different from detachment which creates an aloofness and indifference to the world around you.

Non-attachment in the sutras of Patanjali is linked with practice…effort must embrace surrender.  It is a conscious choice.

I have loved my son, helping him grow, trying to let him make his mistakes so he can learn from them in his own time, praising and encouraging his desires, not trying to fix things, feeling proud as well as overcome with worry.  I have burst open with a love that won’t let me sleep until he walks through the door after a late night out.  But through it all, I have tried to practice my love without gripping.  And so when I kissed him good-bye and boarded a plane,  I surrendered to the sadness, and then began practicing letting it go.

It doesn’t mean I don’t love him; it means that I love him fully.



I would love to know your thoughts...thanks for sharing!

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