In losing everything, we find freedom

You are going to laugh at me when I tell you what my super dramatic title refers to.

This morning, I noticed my iPhone had a new software update with bug fixes and stuff. Since the last update totally screwed with my phone, I downloaded the new one immediately. When I went to check on it, however, I realized that the stupid thing had restored to factory settings, and being the technically challenged person that I am, I never backed any of my stuff up. So yeah, I lost everything. Apps, photos, notes, alarms, my calendar, contacts, all my texts and voicemails…

Given this age of technology that we live in, this is devastating.

I was frustrated to tears. I knew I was being kind of ridiculous and dramatic, but that phone has honestly chronicled my life over the last few years. I’m a picture freak especially, so to lose all my photos really broke my heart. I let myself be upset and just wallow in the feeling for a while. I asked myself over and over why I even did the stupid software update, wishing I could take it back.

After the emotion passed though, I decided to find the silver lining in this situation. I’ve been wanting to get rid of social media on my phone for a while, because it’s a distraction I’ve been overusing lately. But I couldn’t quite bring myself to delete those precious apps. Apparently, when you resist something you know you need, the universe finds a way to give it to you anyway. I guess this is my wake up call, in that respect.

This got me thinking about the clutter in my life. All the material things I keep around that I’ve become attached to. This whole iPhone restore dealio knocked out all my virtual possessions, if you will, but what if my house burned to the ground tomorrow? I’d be devastated at the loss. Why? Because I’m totally attached to my possessions. But those attachments separate me from my source, my inner truth. Same goes for people, or anything else we attach ourselves to. The more attachments we have, the more we have to lose. But loss is an illusion, we already have access to everything we need when we connect to the divine within ourselves.

After coming to this realization, I checked my phone. Miraculously, the one thing I truly need, my contacts, had been restored. Everything else was still missing, but at least I still have access to the people in my life. And honestly, I kind of had to laugh. I mean, call it what you want, but the iPhone is just a phone. And phones are for calling people. It can still perform its basic function, and to be honest, that’s all I really need from it.

What was a devastating loss just minutes before was now an illuminated path to freedom. I feel a little lighter, less obligated to be technology’s slave. In her video for “Ride,” which I’m inexplicably drawn to, Lana Del Rey says “It takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is.” No I didn’t lose everything, not even close. But what I did lose got me a step closer to being free of the shackles of constant connectivity, and eliminated one more distraction from my true purpose.

I hope that I can release attachments in other areas of my life as well. Because only when we release our attachments can we find true freedom, and freedom is where infinite happiness lies.

“I am f*cking crazy, but I am free” – Lana Del Rey