The Tendency to Cling

flame lily 6.1-26

While taking this shot of a parasitic plant clinging to a tree, I found myself pondering on that universal human tendency to want to cling to things. We cling to one another, to our reputations, to our money, our opinions, our cultural and religious norms and a myriad of other stuff, and our lives become small, tight and parasitic. Not only do we begin to die inside, but our presence to others and the world around us is experienced as choking and suffocating.

I warm to people who are learning to let go in life. They are spacious people not seeking to possess and drown everything in their certainties and insecurities. Their presence encourages and enhances the freedom to be, to explore and experience. They always offer to others and their world that same gift of spaciousness they themselves live in.

flame lily 6.1-27

 

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in inspiration, Letting go of Ego, Life, Photography, Poetic Imagination, Relationships, Spirituality, Transformation, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The Tendency to Cling

  1. wisejourney says:

    I like the idea of letting go encouraging what you call spaciousness . . . Very helpful. Thank you

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    • Don says:

      Glad you liked the concept. I too have always found it rather helpful. I’ve tended to see “spirit” to be like spacious landscape, metaphorically of course. Thank you for your comment.

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      • lyn Stephenson says:

        I feel a strong sense of suffocation and constriction from the photograph. It’s difficult to take a deep breath.
        Don, I think we cling because we want things to remain the same; we don’t want things to grow or change beyond our grasp. Yet, if there is one certainty in this life (and there aren’t many) its that change in all things is inevitable. I think clinging also gives us a sense of actually possessing or being in control of the thing in question, which of course is an illusion.
        Letting go, approaching all things with open hands is probably the most freeing and healing gesture we can give to ourselves and one another.

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      • Don says:

        Thanks for your very thoughtful comment Lyn. I must confess that I too felt rather suffocated and restricted by the image. I think it was precisely that which attracted me to it. I agree with you, we find it incredibly difficult to come to terms with the impermanence of things. Permanence is an illusion, yet we try and hold on to it.

        “Letting go, approaching all things with open hands is probably the most freeing and healing gesture we can give to ourselves and one another.” I love these words of yours Lyn because they lie at the very heart of the matter. The question is, is it easy to do, or is it hard? I’ve found that the more one engages in a simple meditative approach to life, the more it just seems to naturally happen. To focus on it all the time and constantly wrap your will around it does absolutely nothing. Would love to hear something of your own experience if you’d like to share?

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  2. Yes, some people tend to take energy from us where others give it. I too am fond of those who give out energy. You have managed to put this into words extremely well.

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    • Don says:

      It is a joy to be in the presence of people like that. They are so nourishing and uplifting. By the way, animals just naturally do that for me – no agenda. They’re just naturally spacious, especially cats. Sometimes they’re too spacious.At times it seems they just don’t give a …Lol.

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  3. Hudson Howl says:

    We all live in the stench of our own making at times. Then we/you/I/us read, see, hear, smell, touch -experience the world through anothers’ interpretations. I won’t cling to your words, instead I hope, use them as stepping stones. Astute you are Don to that where you walk -you are a reflection of your surroundings I think.

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  4. nrhatch says:

    Great photo for this essay, Don.

    I’m not a clingy person. Each time we move, I let go of the old to make room for the new. I’ve switched careers, houses, and jobs, without regret, always moving on to the “next best thing.” I stay in touch with people for a time, but let them drift away when they wish.

    We travel best when we travel light.

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    • Don says:

      That’s wonderful Nancy. What do you think it is in your life that has made you “unclingy?” Must be a joy to be so free. Yip, and we do travel best when we travel light.

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      • lyn Stephenson says:

        To share briefly..I agree with you Don, letting go is enabled through a meditative, contemplative approach to life. Even so, it has not been easy or quick for me, rather a long process which has slowly evolved over a period of time (and still is) like a slow uncurling of the fingers.
        It has come through an awakening to the realization that all things are deeply connected and unfold and develop in their own way and time without manipulation or control; and that clutching and grasping at life is detrimental to that process.
        It has been a discovery that letting go doesn’t mean disconnecting; in fact quite the opposite, there is a freedom to relate on a deeper level, but in a way that is healthy.
        One could say much more, but most of all I think it takes patience with oneself and an attitude to all of life, which is comfortable to just…let it be…

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  5. Don says:

    Thanks Lyn for sharing your experience. I really appreciate what you’ve said – deeply meaningful. What strikes me about what you said is how things unfold in their own way and how everything is connected. Our desperate need to control everything just doesn’t see that and we live under this illusion that we have to always subdue and shape everything ourselves. No real understanding of things continuing to shape themselves without our influence. I think we’re far too egotistical to believe that.
    I really like what you say about letting go so that we can relate again in a deeper way. I warm to that. Too often people feel that when you talk like that, it’s irresponsible and is interpreted as not caring. I agree with you, it all takes time. Again thanks for sharing Lyn.

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  6. Thank you for this incredibly wise and insightful post Don. Your writing, as always, is poetic and thought provoking. This imagery is powerful to go along with this important reminder to remain open and (your excellent word) spacious. Thank you for sharing this. Blessings, Gina

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    • Don says:

      Thank you Gina. You’re always such an affirming person and I really appreciate your words. So glad you found the imagery meaningful. When I saw it, I just knew I had to photograph it. Again, thank you for your kind words.

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  7. dmgartphoto says:

    I cling to your blog 😉

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  8. katy says:

    I I saw a comment in an old Readers Digest. “Habits are first cobwebs, then cables. And possibly that applies to clinging.too!

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  9. Terry says:

    oh yes change is always frightening until it happens and passes and you think “my, my why was I so afraid, it wasn’t worth the worry”. I am always trying to “let it go” as the buddhists remind us, sometimes its not easy and like a baby clings to its mother, comforting. I love Katys quote “habits are first cobwebs, then cables”. I love my husbands habits, its comforting to know he will do what he does because its become a habit, its stable and solid. So why do I love that about him and at the same time want to unlock those chains/cables for him experience the freedom.

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    • Don says:

      Terry your openness and honesty is so refreshing. I love your illustration of your husband’s habits being stable and solid for you. I think that’s precisely why when someone close to us begins to change it can be pretty threatening in spite of the fact that we may welcome that change, or even celebrate it. I suppose that’s the dilemma. Thanks for a great comment.

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