I was in a training a few years ago, and the trainer used the metaphor of an Octopus to symbolise our attachments and relationships to things. In essence, if I have 8 tentacles, and all 8 of those tentacles are in the same object or person, then while the pleasure I get is 8 times as much, the pain of losing that object or person is also 8 times as much…and probably more because when that thing disappears, my tentacles have nothing else to hold on to. 

So, lets say I put all 8 tentacles into my job. I love it, I feel satisfied, I prefer working to meeting friends, and I progress quickly through my career. What happens then, when I retire? Or when the company I work for goes bankrupt, or I need to leave for one reason or another? Then I’m just floating, unattached and feeling empty. This might result in my jumping from one attachment to another, attaching 8 tentacles to it at a time, never really achieving true stability. 

The ideal scenario is to have our tentacles into multiple things. I can have 3 tentacles in my romantic relationships, 2 tentacles for friends, 2 tentacles in my hobby, and 1 for work for example. Then, if that relationship ends, I will feel the pain of that ending, but I will still have 5 more tentacles attached to different things, and these can help keep me afloat and stable as I grieve that loss. 

Where are your tentacles? Are you happy with the distribution of your energy, time, and passion?

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