Whenever the “ber” months would arrive especially September, I always get excited because it means that my favorite time of the year is just around the corner. No, it’s not Christmas… it’s Halloween! Then I’d start decorating the house, I’d start buying costumes and treats, planning for a house party and scheduling other horror parties and events that my work schedule would permit (like the Nuvali Sky Cinema Event we went to around same time last year).
This year, it’s different. I’ve only come to realize that it’s already Halloween around 3rd week of October when photos of previous Halloween celebrations appeared on my Facebook memories. And instead of feeling happy about it, I felt sad.
I’m not sure yet if the feeling was a remnant of my recent bout with depression (I don’t think it was) but what I know is that seeing photos of my house in Alabang decorated with gory and spooky stuff to celebrate the Halloween all those ten years I lived there just made me feel sad. I do miss my house so much and it still pains me to know that I’ve rented it out to someone else just so we can pursue our other dream of setting up our mushroom farm so we can be more financially free. I don’t want to feel this way. I want to be able to let go of this feeling of attachment I have for my first dream home so I can welcome happy thoughts and feelings of excitement for my second dream house — a small but beautiful villa in the woods for our little family.
So how do I let go of this feeling of attachment? How do I overcome this sadness?
STEP 1 – ACKNOWLEDGE THE REASON BEHIND THE FEELING OF ATTACHMENT
As they say, “knowing is always half the battle.” I am acknowledging the fact that my house means so much to me, that it has given me so many wonderful memories, that despite the painful memories it has given me as well, I’m still proud of the fact that I was able to invest in a home at a young age of 29 and I was able to pay off my mortgage and own my own house at the age of 39. It’s my first baby, my first dream come true and I am grateful. The sadness comes from not being able to live in it anymore with all the space and comfort it brings because we need the rental income to finance our growing mushroom agri-biz.
STEP 2 – LIFT UP TO GOD (OR THE UNIVERSE) YOUR SAD THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS AND KNOW THAT YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE MEANT TO BE NOW IN PREPARATION FOR SOMETHING BETTER
This part can be hard to do at first. But with continuous prayers, meditation and affirmations that life is getting better, better and better each and every day, slowly but surely, the sad feelings will be replaced by hope, joy and excitement for that better life you’ve been dreaming of.
So that’s what I’ve been doing day and night — pray, meditate, do my affirmations.
STEP 3 – FOCUS ON WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY NOW
What makes you happy now? Surely, there are a lot of things that bring joy to your life aside from that one thing that you are attached to. As for me, Halloween makes me happy still, despite the fact that we’re living in a 22sqm studio apartment. So, just because I’m no longer living in my own 4-bedroom, 3 t&b, 2-storey townhouse, doesn’t mean I should stop celebrating my most favorite time of the year.
This is why after feeling sad for a little while, thinking that all my old spooky decors, costumes, and trinkets were left behind in Manila, I decided to get out and buy some new Halloween decors even if they’re not as many as before.
As I was decorating our tiny space, I started to feel light and happy again. I decided that it’s still going to be a Happy Halloween!
STEP 4- SPREAD HAPPINESS TO OTHERS
When you’re allotting time to think of others’ happiness too and not just your own, you will slowly feel detached to that thing that caused you sadness in the first place. Our brain is very malleable and we can train it to feel happy again. Through practice, “we can increasingly trick our neural machinery to cultivate positive states of mind.”
And so I thought of something that might make the current people around us feel happy…
We decided to start a tradition up here in the mountains of celebrating the Halloween. We didn’t have time to really prepare and go all out because I was busy finishing deadlines for my online work so we can have extra budget to set up the mushroom farm. Mahal was always at the farm inoculating mushrooms and making grain spawn to make sure that there would be enough for the 10,000 fruiting bags of mushrooms he wants to produce.
Furthermore, we were also not sure how the folks up the mountains will react to it, so in the end, we just decided to do a simple one — sort of like a trial Halloween Party for our caretakers and their kids and our carpenters and helpers up in the mountains.
It’s not as all out as I would have liked; it’s not yet as “bongga” as the Halloween parties I hosted before nor like the spooktacular events I attended before, but I was happy nonetheless. And I saw that they were happy too!
We just brought with us simple Halloween decors, costumes, a few recipes to cook and tons of candies for the kids and of course, alcoholic drinks and chichiria for the oldies. We were glad to see that they welcomed the celebration, that they didn’t mind me feeling like a kid again and most important of all, I was happy to see the 2 farm kids we’ve come to love and know get all excited about the Halloween.
Next year, knowing that it’s alright with the farm folks to celebrate Halloween, we will go all out by hosting a “disco” Halloween costume party with prizes, tons of food, candies, and drinks so other farmers and their kids can attend too!!! Just thinking about it makes me feel so excited all over again, I can’t wait! By then, our mushroom farm biz would have taken off; the vegetable farm would have already been set up; the dragon fruit cuttings would have been growing already. And hopefully, there’d be more income coming our way, God-willing.
For now, that’s our little spooktacular Halloween.
So those 4 steps above indeed helped me detach myself from feeling sad about my house and how beautiful it had been when decorated with Halloween decors. At this very moment as I’m typing this right now, I think, is the happiest I have ever been. And it’s all because I now know deep down that where I am now is where God intends me to be.
I hope those 4 steps on how to let go of attachments help you as well.
Happy Halloween, everyone!