Many years ago, when I attended Al-Anon meetings, I used to hear the phrase “detachment with love” often. I understood the concept, but when I tried to apply it in my own life, I failed miserably.
I Was Not Very Good at Detachment
At the time, I was involved with an alcoholic who had some extreme behavioral traits that were challenging for me. So, when I would try to detach myself from him and his behaviors, I ended up putting a wall between us instead. As I stood behind the wall, I still felt all the same anger and resentment, but I also put space and discomfort between us as well.
The phrase detachment with love seemed impossible because, to me, detachment meant not caring, and I did care a lot. In reality, detachment simply meant taking the focus off “them” and putting it back on “me” for self-care and healing. I couldn’t wrap my head around it or use it very well to improve our relationship. That was quite a few years ago. Since then I have learned a lot about detachment.
Deepak Chopra Showed Me the Way
I just completed another 21-day meditation program with Deepak Chopra, and it was all about personal empowerment. Now you might be thinking, what does that have to do with detachment? I questioned it also until the session on how to properly use detachment to improve all relationships.
The way Deepak explained it was that attachment comes from your ego-self, and when you “attach” to people or things, you interact with them through fear, anger, resentment, frustration, and other negative emotions. When you are attached, you care too much about the circumstances and the outcome. It is impossible to be objective and feel any love in that mess.
However, true detachment comes from your deep connection to God/Source Energy/The Universe and an endless sea of love. You cannot help but feel love, compassion, and empathy for someone when you are in a state of pure detachment. When you let go of any outcome, you no longer care about the person’s motives, behaviors, and actions; they simply don’t matter. You see them through the eyes of pure love and that allows you to react with kindness.
A Purer Connection Between Two People
When you connect with someone on a spiritual level, you understand that they are human, you are human, and you both come from source energy. That connection dissolves your need to control the situation. It’s a wonderful space to be in. I have experienced it quite a bit, and I have to say it is much better than my old idea of what detachment with love meant. Detachment is a strong theme in my book on relationships as it is a critical piece of the puzzle.
I sometimes feel the urge to try and “help” direct someone into a different way of thinking, acting, or making a decision. When I pull back and feel myself detach into a loving space, I allow them to do whatever they want, and I feel the peace of not trying to control anything. It is wonderful! Since this meditation program, I feel much more present in the moment, and I can more easily pause and redirect myself into a place of loving detachment rather than ego-centric control. This way, I don’t get involved in someone else’s stuff, and they don’t feel me pressuring them. Through this practice, we are both set free, and I love it!