Not Perfecting my Practice

Studying aparigraha, non-attachment or non-grasping, has been an ongoing experiment for several years. I say experiment because it is the most difficult action to undertake. I have attached to and grasped onto so much in my life – material goods, expectations of myself and others, emotions, coffee, marijuana, exercise – to take a hard look at them and assess them in these 2 weeks was overwhelming. To a point where I had to take a break for a couple of days because it was sending me into a tailspin. Detaching and letting go of these patterns and comforts I have known so intimately is a frightening endeavor. I felt at times like throwing in the towl on this whole idea.

Then Life happened, an argument with my mom/boss over a relatively minor work issue. I will spare you the boring details, but essentially I became a complete asshole. My Ego was challenged – I had made a mistake and my insecurity around failure flared up. I tried to create a boundary for myself by not answering my mom’s call at 7:30 pm regarding this issue – I’m not going to engage in work at home. However, because it is also my mom, I hurt her by screening her call. The next day when I was being an asshole, naturally, it made my mom become defensive and aggressive. This whole thing could have been avoided if I had just calming acknowledged my moment of neglect, without grasping onto this delusion that I am perfect and I will never make a mistake. Where in the hell was this wisdom in the moments when I was being awful to my mom?

Well, after a Friday lunch we had worked it out, acknowledging that we both have insecurities that were triggered in this spat. It actually created a stronger bond and more understanding. So, as much as I would have liked to have practiced my yamas to perfection, it’s just not reality. Life will inevitably happen and if we are aware we can hopefully avoid the worst; but we won’t avoid it all.

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