I have read books on happiness, listened to songs about happiness, lectured on happiness by friends. Seen those boring clichés inspirational quotes on happiness and the nuggets of wisdoms doing round on social media each and every morning I scroll through my timeline. Everyone is trying to get that positive attitude and manifest it into their life. It’s time to band together and take a stand to find the real cause of happiness. Well they say it’s just a moment but as humans we tend to attach this to things or people, which is not that bad. But when does it get serious? When you don’t have control over your own source of happiness.
Like it’s never easy to let go something we’ve grown accustomed to. Or is it?
Most of us would agree that there are few things harder than letting go of what we love. And yet, sometimes that’s exactly what we have to do. Sometimes we love things that we can’t have.
Sometimes we want things that are not good for us. And sometimes we love what the almighty does not love.
To let go of these things is hard. Giving up something the heart adores is one of the hardest battles we ever have to fight. But what if it didn’t have to be such a battle? What if it didn’t have to be so hard? Could there ever be an easy way to let go of an attachment? Yes. There is.
Find something better. They say you don’t get over someone/something until you find someone or something better. As humans, we don’t deal well with emptiness. Any empty space must be filled. Immediately.
The pain of emptiness is too strong. It compels the victim to fill that place. A single moment with an empty spot causes excruciating pain. That’s why we run from distraction to distraction, and from attachment to attachment.
In the quest to free the heart, we speak a lot about breaking our false dependencies. But then there’s always the question of ‘how?’ Once a false attachment has been developed, how do we break free? Often it feels too hard. We get addicted to things, and can’t seem to let them go. Even when they hurt us. Even when they damage our lives and our bond with the Almighty. Even when they are so unhealthy for us. We just can’t let them go. We are too dependent on them. We love them too much and in the wrong way. They fill something inside of us that we think we need…that we think we can’t live without. And so, even when we struggle to give them up, we often abandon the struggle because it’s too hard.
Why does that happen? Why do we have so much trouble sacrificing what we love? Why can’t we just let go of things?
I think we struggle so much with letting go of what we love, because we haven’t found something we love more to replace it. Look at it from this perspective.
When a child falls in love with a toy car, he becomes consumed with that love. But what if he can’t have the car? What if he has to walk by the store every day, and see the toy he can’t have? Every time he walks by, he would feel pain. And he may even struggle not to steal it. Yet, what if the child looks past the store window and sees a Real car? What if he sees the Real Ferrari? Would he still struggle with his desire for the toy? Would he still have to fight the urge to steal it? Or would he be able to walk right past the toy—the disparity in greatness annihilating the struggle?
We want love. We want money. We want status. We want this life. And like that child, we too become consumed with these loves. So, when we can’t have those things, we are that child in a store, struggling not to steal them. We are struggling not to commit haram for the sake of what we love. We are struggling to let go of the haram relationships, business dealings, actions, dress. We are struggling to let go of the love of this life. We are the stumbling servant struggling to let go of the toy because it’s all we see.
This whole life and everything in it is like that toy car. We can’t let go of it because we haven’t found something greater. We don’t see the Real thing. The Real version. The Real model.
The Real version is better in quality and better in quantity. No matter how great what we love in this life is, it will always have some deficiency, in both quality (imperfections) and quantity (temporary).
This is not to say that we cannot have or even love things of this life. We are told to ask for good in this life and the next. But it is like the toy car and the real car. While we could have or even enjoy the toy car, we realize the difference. The more we can see the Real thing, the easier it becomes to give up the ‘unreal’—when necessary. That does not mean we have to give up the ‘unreal’ completely, or all the time.
If we are asked to refrain from a prohibition that we want, it becomes easier. If we are asked to be firm in a commandment that we don’t want, it becomes easier. We become the matured child who likes to have the toy, but if ever asked to choose between the toy and the Real thing, see a ‘no- brainer’.
So, in letting go, the answer lies in love. Fall in love. Fall in love with something greater. Fall in love with the Real thing. Don’t attach your happiness to things. Each day comes with its blessings. Change your perspective on happiness. Don’t be a slave to your dream that you forget to live in the moment.
See the Mansion. Only then, will we stop playing in the dollhouse.