How Can I Weaken My Attachment to My Physical Appearance?


How can I weaken my attachment to my physical appearance? As a teenage girl, I am sick of the anxiety that worrying about my looks has created in recent years. In at least one of my millions of incarnations, I must have had great physical beauty, but my current existence and desire prove material fulfillment was insufficient. Still, my ego won’t listen. Thank you sincerely.

—Anonymous, United States


Dear Friend,

What a wonderful question you have here!

It is normal and even a good thing for us to be concerned about ‘our appearances’. I remember Swami Kriyananda complimenting someone on a beautiful dress. It is important to bless others with the respect it shows to take care of yourself and to dress nicely.

Also, Yogananda himself even scolded someone who was dressed unkempt, sloppily, and boasting that they were a renunciate and unattached to the world and all that represents worldliness. Yogananda told this person that they were just as attached to their disheveled and unkempt appearance same as the worldly person.

So you see, it is right for us to care about ‘how we look’. The trick is to keep it perspective.

The best way to not be overly concerned about how we look is to think of others first. Make it a habit to tell someone else how nice they look, or comment on a great hair cut or a lovely outfit. There is always someone around you that has something that you give a sincere compliment about. At the same time you are helping the other person think better of themselves also.

It soon becomes a habit in your consciousness to think others and then you are on the way to not thinking about yourself. You have, then, also attracted friends around you because of your expansive view of life. You are letting go of that ‘smaller self’, thinking of others and forgetting yourself.

You will be creating a world with your inner beauty that shines that will attract all you need. All because you think of others first. It is a beautiful state of mind and contented place to find yourself.

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Hassi