Letting go

If unmet expectations are the root of anger and attachment is the root of suffering, the temptation is to manage expectations (to avoid anger and frustration) and to remove attachment (to avoid suffering). But the managed, detached, life is missing a crucial component: love and joy.

Of course joy means sadness and love means heartbreak. They are inevitable components of each other. You suffer heartbreak because you remember the joy of love. You feel frustration because you remember the happiness of met expectations. If you constantly lower the bar on your expectations, you will eventually get to a place where you feel very little anger and frustration but you will also feel very little joy. Similarly with attachments. Perhaps that’s what you want in life, a very even emotionally controlled and detached existence.

I’ve been trying it out and it worked for me for a while but I’m not sure it’s serving me anymore. I needed to be more controlled as I worked through some things but I’m starting to want more of that passion, love, and yes even heartbreak and pain, back in my life. Maybe this is a bad plan? Maybe. Maybe not.

I think most of my frustration and pain came from my drinking. Now that I’ve left that behind for a while I think it’s probably safe to open back up again.

Let’s see how it goes!



  1. Maybe this management of emotions is what Buddhist regards as transcendence or zen? I think survival of and personal growth from prior emotional roller coasters prepares one for future ones.

  2. “Of course joy means sadness and love means heartbreak. They are inevitable components of each other.”

    So true. It always seemed strange to me how friends and I would wallow in heartbreak when a relationship ended. But to feel any emotion is to feel alive. There is a joy in sadness and a sadness in joy. As I get older I’m that guy that cries when I see someone go out of their way to be kind to someone else. My family allows me to watch ‘It’s A Wonderful Life ‘ once a year due to the inevitable waterworks. What men of our generation have been deprived of by not being allowed to experience sadness or tears is a real tragedy. We missed out on a lot of life.

    Thanks for crystallizing this for me. I applaud and encourage your choice to open up to emotion. It won’t be easy but there are many 7amer’s who have your back as you take on this challenge.

  3. Here I thought this was going to be a post about Lokonga, who yesterday showed that he really needs minutes elsewhere to see if he can get some form.

    Seriously, accepting that it’s OK to have a whole range of emotions is an important thing, and one that many men have trouble with. I was laid off a few months ago, and the job search has not gone as smoothly as I was hoping. While this has meant more time for watching the World Cup, Arsenal and posts on message boards, it’s also been frustrating, and I have to remind myself that it’s OK to talk to my wife about this frustration.

  4. “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Master Yoda

    Not sure what this has to do with your wisdom above (other than the fact that I like this particular Yodaism – the best thing to come out of the Phantom Menace).

    But, as it seems you intend to leave the Jedi Order for a spell, Good luck!

    1. The Phantom Menace is a flawed but underrated film. In the Star Wars universe I place it above the last three films, way above them.

      1. Favorite Star Wars films/series

        Rogue One
        Star Wars
        Clone Wars
        The Mandalorian
        Return of the Jedi
        The Last Jedi
        Phantom menace
        The force awakens
        Bad Batch
        Tales of the Jedi
        Attack of the clones
        Obi Wan
        Rise of Skywalker
        Book of Boba Fett

        1. Our top nine almost lines up exactly. I haven’t seen Tales of the Jedi, and I would probably rank Bad Batch and Boba Fett a little higher.

          But, by and large, your list is spot on!

      2. The last three films have, shall we say, a few problems. Last Jedi was definitely the best of the lot.

  5. I wish you all the best in that.

    My wife and I control what we are able to control and leave the rest of it alone. “Avoid vexatious people”.

    Personally, I find the avoiding of media ‘news’ and social media a prerequisite for a healthy mental live. Certainly keeps me happy and very content in our world.

  6. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability and allowing us to share yours.

    I, however, have found solace in emotional stability as the pain became too much. Will hold onto it until I feel it’s safe to ride the waves again.

    If need be, you are allowed to get to your safe space to preserve your essence.

    Wishing everyone in this space peace and love💪🏾

  7. I am not good with words.

    Just want to wish you find what you are looking for and may it be a happy one.

    Here’s to a wonderful 2023. May Arsenal chip in and play great football and make you happier.

  8. A distinction I’ve found useful is to separate emotions from what’s described as a “feeling state”. For me this means not allowing emotions to drive behavior, while at the same time recognizing and connecting to how you’re feeling, so that you can use the energy of emotions, without the emotions using you, so to speak. It’s a difficult distinction to maintain, but it’s helped me sometimes. Good luck Tim.

  9. Nice post Tim. Happiness and joy are found on the other side out of the bottle. If I could pull someone out of the bottle, I would do it over and over again. I know from a personal experience how emotionally wrecking it is to have a family member trapped in booze and uncontrolled drinking. As for your case, Tim, I know it gives you the freedom to flow and let out the creativity into your posts, so go on then. ***hiccups***

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