Tools for practicing detachment:

  1. When others begin to bother you, change your focus.
  2. Are you making someone else’s business yours?
  3. Keep everyone outside of your hula hoop.
  4. A test for whether or not you are detached: are you being judgmental?
  5. If you are feeling victimized, you are enmeshed.
  6. Are you letting someone else define your feelings?
  7. The chaos in your life is a sign of too much involvement in the life of someone else.
  8. “Attachments” sap our energy.
  9. Letting go is a decision that generally needs daily adherence.
  10. If you are about to “take charge,” pause.  
  11. Doing nothing is a decision.
  12. Silence is a decision too.
  13. Instead of sharing an unwanted comment, pray.  A good choice.
  14. A cornerstone of detachment is the willingness to shift one’s perception.  The result is a miracle.
  15. Detaching is a most loving act.

All of these simple ideas are guaranteed to change your life, if you regularly practice them. Did I learn the value of these tools quickly? On the contrary. I have been at this detachment practice since 1974. That was when I went to my first Al-Anon meeting. And I have been attending meetings ever since. Am I perfect “at this game?” I think not. Perfection is not attainable. Have I made progress? Absolutely. And that is really all any of us can expect.

The point of this post is to serve as a simple reminder that we can improve our lives, little by little, one day at a time. We can’t forego the practice of these, or similar suggestions though, if we want to live more peaceful lives. I guess I am assuming that is one of your goals or you wouldn’t have selected this blog to follow. My work, since publishing my first book in 1982, has been all about living a more peaceful life. It doesn’t happen without dedication. That I can assure you.

The good news is that we will see our lives change, thus our relationships too, when we begin the practice of detaching from the lives of those individuals who have chosen to make a journey that complements ours. We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that since they are close at hand, we need to offer suggestions, generally unwanted ones, so that their “steps” don’t interfere with ours. What we fail to understand, too often, is that they have a journey that is specifically theirs, one that may compliment ours but it isn’t the same journey. Never the same journey.

While we are meant to meet and be with those individuals who wander our way, their path is not ours, exactly. We are spiritual companions. We are learning partners. We are both the teacher and the student. And which it is changes daily, changes moment by moment even. Let’s simply celebrate the truth of this while we stay within our own hula hoop. Shall we?




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