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Posted by: jakinnan | November 6, 2013

Turning from Attachment to Desire

Oregon

So much of the journey forward involves a letting go of all that once brought us life. We turn away from the familiar abiding places of the heart, the false selves we have lived out, the strengths we have used to make a place for ourselves and all our false loves, and we venture forth in our hearts to trace the steps of the One who said, “Follow me.” In a way, it means that we stop pretending: that life is better than it is, that we are happier than we are, that the false selves we present to the world are really us. We respond to the Haunting, the wooing, the longing for another life. Pilgrim begins his adventure toward redemption with a twofold turning: a turning away from attachment and a turning toward desire. He wanted life and so he stuck his fingers in his ears and ran like a madman (“a fool,” to use Paul’s term) in search of it. The freedom of heart needed to journey comes in the form of detachment. As Gerald May writes in Addiction and Grace,

Detachment is the word used in spiritual traditions to describe freedom ofdesire. Not freedom from desire, but freedom of desire . . . An authentic spiritual understanding of detachment devalues neither desire nor the objects of desire. Instead, it “aims at correcting one’s own anxious grasping in order to free oneself for committed relationship to God.” According to Meister Eckhart, detachment “enkindles the heart, awakens the spirit, stimulates our longings, and shows us where God is.”

With an awakened heart, we turn and face the road ahead, knowing that no one can take the trip for us, nor can anyone plan our way.

– John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance

Photo: BLM-Oregon

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