During my self improvement journey, I haven’t really thought much about gratitude and attachment. I’ve learned a lot about gratitude and why it’s so important to express it, but not really attachment or how it ties into gratitude and the law of attraction.
This was brought up as I was sifting through The Secret’s daily teachings book and found one interesting passage about the difference between gratitude and feeling attached to something.
I was curious enough about it to delve more into it.
During my research, I quickly realized that there is a finite line between attachment as well as gratitude in life. As this article suggests, there are a lot of grey areas in there. Here’s an excerpt:
An early Christian mystic observed that someone “who has tasted the sweetness of having no personal possessions” can find that “even the cassock which he wears and the jug of water in his cell are a useless burden, because these things, too, sometimes distract his mind.” If that’s true of monks, what about us, with our walk-in closets, our overstuffed pantries and our anything-at-a-mouse-click technology? How can you tell the difference between an unhealthy attachment and a healthy affection for something worthwhile or a passionate commitment to a worthy goal?
Needless to say it’s tricky, and for some people it could pose as a potential problem. People being too attached to an object or even a goal or an idea can cause problems for them and the people around them.
As such, I’ve identified four differences between gratitude and attachment for something. I believe these can help in our own lives.
They Are Different Based On What They Attract
When you are expressing gratitude or appreciation for something it comes from the heart. You are expressing a profound joy and love for something. In essence whatever that something is is something that compliments or enhances your life.
Comparatively when you are attached to something, it stems from the fear of that being taken away. You are expressing a dependence on whatever that something is. In essence whatever that something is is something that you need in your life.
When it comes to the law of attraction you are expressing one of these things from gratitude and attachment: joy of something and fear of losing it respectively. As such you will attract more of that. Giving you more joy over time versus eventually losing what you feared.
Their General Views On Material Things
How you think will affect what you say. In that instance, it’s safe to say that our own views based on this will be different on a general scale.
With gratitude seen as a joy for something, we see it as something that enhances lives. It compliments it, but it’s not a required item in order to enjoy life.
Comparatively when you are focusing on an attachment you see items that you have to have or a fear of losing it. It creates a sort of dependence that otherwise wouldn’t have been placed there.
As a side note these are my general thoughts on these concepts as basic needs, I believe, fall in a very grey area. Again, attachment and expressing gratitude is a VERY finite line. One can see basic needs as both things you need (for obvious reasons) but also as things to be grateful for (again, for obvious reasons).
Attachment Can Lead Towards Harmful Addictions
One of the obvious things with attachment is that when you are attached you can easily become addicted. In this particular instance addiction can be detrimental to you. After all this addiction stems from the fact you are afraid of not getting what you or want or a fear of losing what you have.
On the other hand gratitude and appreciation don’t necessarily lead to addictions. Addictions being in the sense that you can’t control them. For example the fact that I write on a daily basis or go for a walk daily could mean I’m addicted to something positive that those things bring me. However I’m still in control and see those things more as habits.
There’s certainly a difference between habits and addictions. But I’ll save that for another time.
Gratitude Brings Growth
One thing that the site I linked above showed was identification through asking particular questions. Even though these questions are simple, I believe they can be powerful. Still the one that stood out the most was the question pertaining to growth and being held back.
Gratitude brings growth because it’s an enhancement to your life. It can attract more growth to you over time the further you express your gratitude for it. Not to mention growth as you continue to use and develop whatever it is you are using or doing.
Comparatively, an attachment keeps you back. It stalls you for time much like a distraction. It doesn’t keep you pinned down in the sense that it doesn’t allow you to get back up, however I believe it prompts you to create a wall that wasn’t there before.
Even Though The Differences Are Tough To Spot
I do believe these differences can help you in maintaining a balance of gratitude as well. By being aware of that, you can better use gratitude and appreciation to improve your life.
Enjoy the article or found it helpful? Leave a green heart (recommend) behind and share it with others!
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon