In Monday’s post, we focused on material wealth as a source of unhealthy attachment. It’s pretty obvious that most people struggle to be balanced when it comes to money. Whether you have a lot of money or not enough, it’s easy to obsess over it and allow that focus to skew judgments and decisions.
But let’s be honest about some other major attachments:
1. Relationships: Why do I stay in a relationship that’s not good for me? Why do I cling to a relationship that is trying—that needs—to change? Do I feel valuable only when I am loved by a certain person or a certain type of person? Do I lean on others to do my living for me—making decisions, solving problems, developing strength to deal with life? Does my identity rely too much on a particular relationship? Am I defined primarily by my role as a mother or spouse?
2. Power: We easily recognize the person who wields power to a fault, who is dominant and controlling. What we don’t recognize so quickly is the person who is not in a position of power but who nevertheless learns to control others through manipulation and deception. Do I need to be in control? Do I micromanage rather than let others do their jobs, or rather than let my children or grandchildren stumble a bit and learn? Do I use guilt or other emotional pressure to manipulate others to do what I want? Do I have trouble collaborating, especially when it comes to making decisions? Am I easily threatened by others’ strengths, gifts, and suggestions?
3. Emotional experience: Am I too attached to feeling happy and affirmed, to the point that I am easily disappointed and dissatisfied—in relationships, in my job, in my friends, in my clothes and other possessions? Do I become distressed when my emotional life takes a dip and I must deal with stress or sadness? If my prayer or other life practice doesn’t feel rewarding, do I decide it’s useless? Or do I thrive only when I’m in conflict? Must I always be arguing, stirring things up, confronting others, or making them uncomfortable? Am I addicted to a constant pattern of ups-and-downs, of dire hopelessness followed by enthusiastic bliss? Am I impatient when life feels normal and unexciting?
4. Security: Do I pass up opportunities because they may require that I struggle? Am I so consumed with being safe that I don’t venture out into new relationships or activities? Do I become agitated when someone upsets my schedule or way of doing things? Do I hoard money and possessions, saving against some future catastrophe? Do I pull back from trusting people because I don’t want to risk getting hurt or upset? Have I stayed with a job that’s a bad fit because I’m not brave enough to go back to school or get trained for something else? Do I obsess over the safety of my family members?
5. Success: Do I feel valuable only when I am working and well-compensated for it? Do I feel that I am wasting time if I am not busy and “productive”? Have I consistently sacrificed relationships for the sake of my job or career? Do I refrain from an activity if I feel that I am not really good at it? Am I uninterested in a conversation if it does not lie in the range of my expertise? Am I constantly measuring myself against other people in my age group, profession, workplace, etc.? Am I overly sensitive to the assessments and judgments of others?
- What area of life endangers your spiritual freedom?
- If you received effective help with your unhealthy attachment, what would that help look like?
The second annual Find Your Inner Iggy celebration starts today. Through July 31, we’re considering all the places we can find God. You’re invited to share your answers to daily questions on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and Facebook, using the hashtag #FindIggy. Every day, Loyola Press will pick three of the best photos, tweets, posts, or videos and award them with Iggy gifts. Visit findyourinneriggy.com for details.