Months ago I heard a story of a woman who was asked to give away something that had a great deal of meaning to her. In order to truly practice non-attachment, she was asked to choose something in her possession that was special to her and to pass it along to someone else. I marveled at this woman’s intense feelings in her experience of giving away something that held fond memories and such deep devotion.
We can easily give gifts that may not harbor those personal attachments. Sending flowers, buying dinner, purchasing a new book, or even making something, can be easier than letting go of an item that we have attachment to.
As I prepared to meet with a dear friend that is in the midst of a cancer diagnosis and surgery, I felt compelled to give her something that had deep meaning to me. My intuitive hit was to give her a small stone that has been part of my meditation and prayer work for many, many years. When the thought came into my consciousness, I immediately wanted to use rational and reasoning as to why that was not a good idea. My mind recalled where I got this beautiful stone, who gave it to me, how much it has been a part of my practice, and how much this silly little stone meant to me. It was such a bizarre experience to mentally and emotionally work through that attachment to this little black stone.
I continued looking through my collection of books, my other stones, my healing cards, and all my other tidbits that I have found to be a sense of peacefulness as I have journeyed through difficult times. Despite every attempt to find something “better”, my heart kept calling me back to the stone.
I looked within myself as to why I was holding attachment to this. I knew that I could at anytime go get another stone, but it wouldn’t be this one that held the memories. Again, I attempted to come up with a variety of reasons as to why it should not be this stone. It was then that I knew in my heart that this was the gift I was meant to give her.
While my friend and I visited, I kept the stone in my hand and allowed my fingers to smooth over it. As our visit neared the end, I knew that it was the time to give it to her. As I held her hand and dropped it into her palm, I told her the story of the stone. I shared with her how I felt comfort as this stone sat on my altar for many years. I shared with her that for me the stone was part of my practice of releasing negativity to make space for something greater. I asked her to take the stone and allow it to be whatever it is that she needs. I told her that someday she would know when she no longer needs it and that she would pass it along.
The sense of release from attachment was liberating.
As we said goodbye and I drove away, I recalled again hearing the story of the woman giving away a dear possession and I got it.
I truly got it.