To embrace detachment offers us freedom from bondage. . .

I ponder the idea of detachment quite often.  It’s been the topic in more than one of the books I have written, (see, books section) and it is the primary topic in many of the workshops and lectures I do in the public arena.  I love the topic because it speaks to so many of us.  And even though my life is no longer consumed by my attachments to others, the past can become the present all too easily.  A “slip of the mind” can trigger the old behavior and I don’t want to go there.

I don’t think I had ever heard the word “detachment” until I entered the 12 step rooms that have become my second home.  And as I have said in other posts, I didn’t really understand its meaning, not the subtleties of detachment, for many years.  And “attachment” to people and their ideas can creep up on me even now if I’m not vigilant.  Working on letting others be, without trying to mirror their moods, is a life-time commitment.

I have discovered that many people think detachment means “to turn away or against.”  It doesn’t.  Rather, one of the things it means is to let go, to let the concerns of others be theirs, not ours.  It’s not easy to let others solve their on problems if we have been accustomed to being in charge, but we have to honestly assess why we want to remain in charge.  Is it that we fear our loved ones or friends will need us less, perhaps even reject us if we are no longer necessary to the outcome they are hoping for?

Being indispensable appeals to many of us who, if lucky, are eventually guided in to 12 step rooms where we learn that thinking of ourselves as indispensable means we are living in some one else’s hula hoop, rather than our own.  Living that way guarantees that we will miss all the opportunities that are meant to be ours, specifically.

Embracing detachment is the way to find peace and develop trust on this journey of life.  Letting go of the many others who travel with us, trusting that God will guide them and that they don’t need us as their travel guide, relieves us of a time consuming burden; in fact, a burden that consumes far more than time.  Our emotional and spiritual energies are depleted when we live “attached” to rather than detached from our loved ones.

Blessing our loved ones and letting them go is the kindest gift we can give them.  And us too.

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