Yesterday I lost my antique Buddha amulet from Chiang Mai, that I’ve worn everyday for almost two years. The clasp broke while I was out running errands. I didn’t notice until I found the chain tangled around my purse strap, amulet long gone.
What I realized as I furiously searched my car, totally bummed to have lost this item that held so much personal sentiment, was that somewhere down the line, I’d become absurdly attached to a copper trinket, molded into Buddha… the figurehead of non-attachment.
Even in this recognition, the cognitive understanding that there was a lesson to be learned, part of me still wanted… no, needed, to find it. It was a beautifully solid copper, heavy, intricately carved, I could feel centuries of history when I touched it. It was also the item I reached to when I needed to feel centered, the reminder of an experience, of a time in my life when I felt at peace as I spent afternoons in quiet contemplation in the shadows of crumbling temples. I understood there was something meaningful about letting go of it, but still… I felt naked without it.
As I felt around under the car seat, feeling foolish, but still shaking out my jacket and scarf, digging through the change in my purse, I looked down. I have this tattoo on my wrist….
It too just a symbol, yet all that it represents a part of my experience. But one that brings me back to myself. So I did, reluctantly at first, but I let go. I stopped needing to find the Buddha and I stopped looking. I acknowledged that it was probably gone, laying in the snow and slush in some parking lot, and that I could be okay with that.
Today, as if the universe saw that I had learned what I needed to, as I stepped out the door for the first morning without my amulet around my neck, I looked down. Square in the middle of the rug that sits outside my front door, a place I’d already looked over several times, was my amulet. I still can’t figure out how it got there, but I suppose like many things, it’s not for me to know.
On a personal note- It’s been an odd few months, really the whole last year a time in my life that has asked me over and over, are you letting go? REALLY letting go? Or are you holding to tightly- to plans, to people, to expectations of what life should look like? Each time I think I’ve begun to understand, to really internalize impermanence, the universe shakes things up again, and asks me to let go just a little bit more. Just when I’m sure if I let go of anything else the ground beneath me will disappear… life begs of me. Give it all away. Need nothing. Cling to nothing.
Maybe we are never fully free in the human experience, always clinging to something, if even attaching to the need to feel unattached, even our existence as a physical body mattering as we filter our experience through our senses. Maybe if we didn’t learn letting go in stages, if we let go of everything at once, we wouldn’t experience the achingly beautiful experience that is learning to become lighter. If we never knew suffering, would we know what it felt like to not suffer?
Know that every word I write here is me giving it away, or letting go. I don’t want to hold onto these moments, but I do honor them enough to share them. So thank you- for reading, and for giving me the opportunity to share, connect, and set my heart free.
All love, Jen