I’m a huge fan of office supplies. Recently, on a long walk, I stopped at our local Staples to use the restroom and treated myself to a stroll down the aisles—all of them—on the way out. I purchased nothing, but the sights and smells of pens, papers, and packaging materials gave me renewed vigor for the remaining steps home.
When I say I’m attached to things like staplers and paper clips, there’s no pun intended. I love them. I’m unabashedly enthusiastic about them. But I’m attached to other things and people more, of course.
I’m attached to my faith.
I’m attached to my family.
I’m attached to my girlfriends.
I’m attached to Paris.
I’m attached to Ben and Jerry’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream. (Lord, give me strength…)
On lucid and healthy days, my attachments reflect the best of me and I hold those things and people loosely, allowing them to enhance my life and buoy my spirits.
On more melancholy days, my attachments become dysfunctional lifelines or places to cast blame for all that’s gone awry in my life.
Neither paper clips nor people deserve that kind of pressure.
My attachments are a reflection of my identity, but they don’t form my identity. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of this question:
Who am I without any attachments?
When I can answer that, I’ve found an identity that transcends my attachments, which allows me to enjoy them more fully and share them freely with others.
How would you answer the question? Who are you without any attachments?