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It is easy to create suffering for self; just attach your expectation to an outcome and you will see that if your desired outcome is not fulfilled, suffering/misery ensues. For example, expecting your child to behave or respond in a certain manner and not able to elicit that outcome.

Attachment is the root cause of suffering, surmises Yogasutras of Maharishi Patanjali, whether we are attached to a positive outcome or any other.

How to detach then, if attachment causes misery? First question, are you ready to detach? Detachment would feel like someone taking a piece of your identity away. Are you ready to let go of that identification piece? (I am like this/ that, or I can’t be like this/that). Are you ready to feel lighter, brighter? Attachments are heavy, they will not allow you the ‘taste’ of freedom and if you don’t want to practice freedom, you don’t want to practice detachment. It is a roundabout way of saying that freedom lies in the practice of detachment. Freedom is experiential.

Secondly, most of us are attached to emotions. A virtuous-balanced state of being implies you are ready to ‘tip’ any side as per the need. For example, if someone is taking advantage of your kindness, then, in loving-discernment and grace, allow the person to learn their own lessons. Keep a positive feeling for that person.

Watch Your Energy Field

Suffering ensues when we hold negative emotions about a person, place or an object. Our own energy-field is clouded, constricted, dense in such an emotional state. This doesn’t allow divine light to penetrate through, for a clear thinking process. We let go of many opportunities, possibilities of being happy in this state, simply because clear thinking and that allowing-ness state is absent, the energetic gates to happiness are closed. This is our own doing. We ourselves are responsible for our own misery.

If we decide to live in a positive-virtuous state, the energetic gates of bringing in more good things in life are open.

If expectation causes suffering, then how to deal with the nature of expectation? One doesn’t have to change the ‘nature’ of expectation. Expectation just is. All one has to do is to tip the nature of expectation to higher states. Expect better results, without attaching to outcome. Expect better version of self in dealing with people, relationships, without attaching to outcome. Live in freedom, give freedom.

One obvious question is: But, things are like this, not good as the way they are. Yes, once we acknowledge the way things are, we immediately shift the expectation from ‘what is’ to ‘what things could be’ — positively. This is conscious use of imagination to create better situations, solutions, keeping better emotional states, rather than regurgitating how bad things are, or how worse they can get. This is the experiential practice towards detachment.

What do You Expect?

Remember, our expectation brings exactly that, what we expect, no different. Our energy is connected to all things, we are not separate. Therefore, watch your feelings, emotions, actions, you hold for people, relationships, places, things. And in wider realm towards mother Earth we inhabit, towards her air, water, soil, trees. All is connected.

Your energy (thoughts/feelings/beliefs) not only affects you personally but all things around you and beyond, whether in your line of vision (near) or not, whether you are aware or not. You impact others energetically and get impacted energetically. If your energy-field is positively balanced and you can hold on to your energy field strongly, you remain insulated from negative swings, however, if the energy-field is weak or weaker in certain moments or days, one may get carried away in not-so-positive ways. There is nothing good or bad about this waver; it is simply a part of the process of life, of learnings and knowing that one can ‘consciously’ create good things responsibly.

Disclaimer: Urmila Rao is an emotional healer and a forgiveness teacher. All the ideas expressed herein are her own, and not professional advice or medical prescription. Her website is: Email: