It is a different experience, to work and live in the business of goodbyes. A business where waves are meant for departures, and homecoming’s are few and far between. I have been working in this business for around a decade now. My goodbyes aren’t really goodbyes anymore in my community. They are expected. They are known. They are common.
I find myself celebrating goodbyes as much as I loathe them. Some more difficult than others. You see, I fell in love with the road many years ago. I fell in love with new stories, and adventures, and affinities. I fell in love with chance, over reason. I fell in love with possibility, of rationality. But the truth is I also love home, I love familiar faces and I love my own space. My very own familiar space.
But to have both, is to have neither fully. You must choose when you are in this business. And it is no easy decision.
We are taught to be non-possessive or attached to things in this life through the yoga sutras. Aparigraha, we learn means – non-possessiveness or attachment, in sanskrit. It’s one of the first sutras that I learned, and it hit me the most.
My life has become a living embodiment of this sutra over the years. More and more so.
But as you know, just because your life has become a certain way, does not mean in fact that you do not push against it at times. It doesn’t mean that sometimes it doesn’t hurt, or that sometimes it doesn’t make you sad. But at some point, with growth you learn to see the beauty of it. You learn to find the lesson.
The first step of Aparigraha is letting go of things. Earthly possessions are meaningless without an experience to follow. You begin to realize that the things that make your life truly worth anything, the things you remember at the end of the day, the things you hold space for….are never really things.
Once you reach that realization, it’s easy to begin to cleanse your life of the physical clutter that you have amassed.
Second to go is our attachment to places. This one is difficult. It is a hard step to achieve, as it means detachment from favorite foods, favorite routines, favorite activities….and the absence of a familiar community.
With the detachment from places that we call home, places that are familiar, places that are warm to us…..we sometimes feel uprooted and lost. We become ships weightless at sea, with no anchor. We have all the freedom in the world to drift, but sometimes we miss that familiar port that we have drifted so far from.
In time we grow strong as we become more anchored in ourselves. More anchored in our beliefs, in our strengths and in our passions. We begin to follow them to new and exciting destinations. Doors open, and barriers break down. We realize that the only place we can truly retreat to for safety, and familiarly has to first begin within us. And once we find that peace, the world at large becomes our community.
We begin to know ourselves much more deeply than ever before. We become a unified, and singular vessel.
Third, we learn to detach from people. Not in a negative way, or an alien way. We still love and care for the people of our world. But we do not try to clutch them so tightly that we break our relationships with them. This deep form of detachment takes much time, experience, and maturity. It takes effort, and it takes understanding that letting go can mean peace with letting be.
We are not mean to be held onto so tightly. We are meant to flow. We are meant to grow. We are meant to search. We are each individually meant to find our own path, and follow it with our deepest of passions.
We sometimes get so caught up in people’s role in our own stories, that we forget how important it is for them to tell and live their own.
We have to learn to be ok with holding loosely onto the people in our lives, as they drift in and from different directions than our own paths. And at most we can hope that our passions, dreams and lives somehow bring us back together on a beautiful adventure. We have to let these intertwining moments happen organically. We cannot force them. The more willing we are to let go of what is not ours to hold, the easier those elements begin to drift into and out of our lives.
We come to realize how small the world is. And those characters that we love so much, end up dancing in and out of our life quite frequently. When we find our true community, time and space cannot keep us apart. Worrying about goodbyes, and hellos is worthless of our time.
So at that point we find ourselves saying goodbye to things, places and people. But it is never truly goodbye. It’s just an understanding of independence, and interdependent freedom. And the people, places, and things that we hold so highly in our hearts…..always find their way back into our lives at the most perfect of times.
It’s not such a bad business you see. It has it’s moments. And most of those moments are magic. And for those moments, the rest I can give up. For a life without magic, is no life at all.