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Thoughts on Detachment (Pre-reading for Live Chat)


Detachment is a complex topic so before this next chat I’d like to share a few thoughts about it so we can discuss further:

I believe to be fully detached from a person, memory, or event, a person must truly experience their attachment and fully embrace whatever pain or suffering it causes. This can take weeks, months, years, or a single moment to accomplish, it all depends on how practiced our mind and heart are at working together.

When we recall a person or event that we would like to be detached from, it is a natural response to try and distract ourselves so we don't engage with the negative feelings it may bring up. Most often we just want to be happy and we don't want to get tangled up in the negativity, so it makes sense to "just not think about it."

It turns out we spend most of our lives distracting ourselves from things we don't want to think about. We watch movies, eat, drink, spend time on Facebook, tweet, run errands, clean the house, exercise and so on... So many times we do these things to run away from what is going on inside. It makes us feel better for the moment but it also keeps us on a wheel of running and constantly managing our pain and feelings so we don’t have to really feel them. For many of us there is a fear that feeling deeply may be unbearably devastating and that it will leave us isolated and unable to cope.

There are many of us who are dealing with devastating memories of abuse, loss and violence every day. We deal with illness and divorce, bankruptcy, war, manipulation and deceit from others... so many things we want to detach from so we can be happy. Our lives are built on "dealing" and "managing" pain so we can have happy moments but what happens is that our happy moments are only partially experienced because our mind is still dealing and managing even when we are doing the things that are supposed to be making us happy. When our inner world is constantly trying to cope are we really experiencing true happiness?

In my experience, Detachment from our pain is only possible when we fully embrace our suffering. Here is one path you can take to help strengthen your mind/heart connection and re-route your habit of attachment.

When your negative feeling or memory comes to the surface and you feel attached to it, instead of distracting yourself... be still and go deeper. Let it fill you and take in every last bit of it until you are fully absorbed into your feelings. Then embrace it. If you are a spiritual person, embrace it with divine love… whatever that looks like to you. An angel, a light energy, a warmth. If you are a religious person allow God to embrace it and heal it, and if not, simply visualize your own arms around this pain until it disappears or you begin to feel it fade.

It sounds like an easy process but this can be very painful work. It is definitely work. Courageous work.

If you truly want to be free you must be willing to grieve and cry and be brave enough to go deeper and deeper into the feelings you run from to heal. It is certainly work that requires practice, which means it will take many times of doing it over and over again throughout your life. But I have to tell you from my own experience, that once you let go, and you are able to truly experience freedom from one attachment, you will know how to do it again and you can set yourself free over and over again.  Detachment needs stillness and love to be achieved. You may want to share this process with a therapist or with a friend or family member when you can but there will be many times you will be practicing this alone sitting in your car, at work, during the night when you can't sleep. It helps to remember that whatever it is that you are attached to is there for a reason and somehow there is a gift waiting for you because of it. A gift waiting to be opened.

Look forward to chatting with you more about this very powerful subject. Thanks for being here.


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