Emotional Shackles: The Key to Inner Liberation

Your attachments give you security and comfort.

The things that we own give us comfort and security. Take your home for instance. Knowing that you have a safe place to live creates a great deal of security for you. This is only natural. Waking up feeling the world will be more or less the same as it was before gives us the strength and courage to face the world because it is predictable.

The same is for our feelings. If we wake up feeling like we did yesterday, even if it wasn’t great, we can feel in control of ourselves. It’s better than now knowing what you are going to feel next like an out of control roller coaster. In this way, we feel we own our feelings.

You love them

The ownership gives us a sense of mastery. But we also tend to love our possessions. Either they are great, so we love them, or we feel like “worthy sufferers” through our possession of them. Either way, they help define our identity, which we also love because it is ours.

This love is circular.

But we never really stop to think about his love relationship. We deceive ourselves into believing it is linear, or causal, and caused by us. And then we get the relationship backwards. We have our possessions (and our feelings and our identity) because we love them.

You love them because they are yours.

It is partly true that we have those possessions (and feelings and identity) because we love them, but why do we love them in the first place? Because they are ours. Mere possession creates our love for them, not the other way around. And in particular with feelings, a lot of them were arbitrary. Two people can have the same experience and feel totally different about the experience. That choice of what feeling to feel is largely subconscious. To that extent, it is partially arbitrary.
But it is also partly not arbitrary. The feelings that arise in us often are coming from less than noble origins. Origins that we don’t even admit to ourselves.

They have a dark side

A lot of the feelings that we have, have a dark side. They were not starting from noble intentions although we dress them up that way. Think of the person who comes to a doorway near the same time as you and then steps back and says ‘After you’. If you decline and say, no, after you, they then insist and become quite firm on their deferring to you. It may look noble and humble to defer to others, but perhaps they are actually very stubborn and willful and merely desire to be seen as noble and humble. That is the dark side our feelings may be harboring.

They demand your loyalty your love

What’s more, our feelings and identity demand our loyalty to them and our love of them. We have little choice in the matter. This is partly because our love for them obscures our objectivity. We can’t see them except through rose colored glasses. The desire to identify ourselves as good and right and reasonable is almost overwhelming for most people.

They also create our prison.

But this slavish obedience to our feelings and identity creates a prison. We don’t mind the prison though because of the comfort and security that it creates for us. In fact, we often dress up our prisons and pretend they are beautiful villas even though we don’t really have the freedom to leave them without putting up a concerted fight.