Detachment is a skill that we can learn to help us feel more peaceful, calm and balanced. And who doesn’t want that?
What is detachment?
First of all it isn’t yelling and walking away. It isn’t judging, blaming, crying and walking away. It isn’t saying you hate someone and walking away. Detachment is a difficult concept to grasp for most of us. It is about separation, removal and getting un-stuck from someone. And it’s about doing that in an atmosphere of genuine love. So, it’s saying to someone, “I see you are having a problem with this situation, but I have faith in you and know you will solve it.” And then letting them solve it. Getting out of the way so they can use their own inner resources to solve it. Detaching from their life long enough for them to find their own answers.
Sometimes we don’t need to say anything. When we notice a love one struggling with something, we avoid jumping in to rescue and help. Instead we detach long enough for them to figure it out for themselves. People don’t need us as much as we might think they do. We might think we have all the answers. We are so quick to give solutions. To point others in the “right” direction.
But while we are over there giving all of our energy to them and their issues, who is here for us? We get lost in the fray. And end up feeling frazzled, depressed, anxious and angry. We end up resenting them for having to deal with their problems. They may not have even asked us to. But we get tangled in the muck and mire of their “stuff” because we have become so used to it. To being the fixer, or the mediator, or the helper, or the rescuer. This is detachment time.
When do we detach?
We detach when we find ourselves in someone else’s “stuff.” When we feel like we are sinking in their quicksand. When they are crying, yelling, demanding, accusing, blaming, or talking crazy. When they are drinking too much, taking drugs, going on spending sprees or staying in abusive relationships. And they involve us. Or we get involved ourselves. And we start sinking. The quicksand is all the inner turmoil. The feelings of hopelessness. The desire to help, yet feeling helpless. The confusion. The craziness of it all. It’s like being caught in a tornado. This is when you need to detach.
How do we do it?
We let go of their problems. We let them deal with their own “stuff.” We deal with our own. We show love and consideration and we walk away. We seek peace for ourselves, however that might look: going for a walk, ringing a friend, writing in our journal, listening to music, watching a movie, making a cup of tea.
Separate your issues from those of others. Decide if this is your problem or their problem. If it’s not yours, let it go.
A good strategy is to imagine a beautiful golden perspex glass ball surrounding you. Imagine that it is unbreakable and impenetrable. You are completely safe inside this wall of golden glass. Nothing can touch you. Nothing can harm you. Nothing can take away your peace. Nothing. Feel the warmth of that. Feel the protection and safety of that. Then imagine another golden ball of Perspex glass surrounding the person you are concerned about. Imagine them inside this ball of glass. Imagine they are protected, loved and being cared for by a power much greater than you or them. Know that they are okay. They are on their own path, being led and guided just as you are. They are in good hands. They do not need your help. So, let them go. Feel the peace.