by Kasey Conrad
EDITOR´S NOTES: What are you holding on to? This great article by Kasey Conrad as this question and provides a way for us to see through our attachments in a way that could be challenging to many of us. Are you ready to let go? Find out by reading this article.
Detachment; according to Webster:
Aloofness: lack of interest in or involvement with other people or with worldly concerns
Disinterestedness: a lack of bias, prejudice, or emotional involvement
Separation: the condition of being separated from something, or the process of separating one thing from another.
In the past the first thought that would come to mind when I’d heard the word “detachment”, was nothingness. To me, it was a lonely word describing a feeling akin to emotional emptiness. Yet, now, I embrace this lovely word. I have learned to make it my friend, as well as my counselor. It has taken a great deal of personal processing, ten breath taking, and stepping back for a wider view to get to a place where I can use the act of detachment to make better decisions, react less out of emotion, and more out of reason.
Detachment, in all its glorious incarnations, definitions if you prefer, can be a useful weapon against our ongoing inner conflicts. If we could look at a situation from a distance, with a lack of bias or prejudice, separate ourselves from the emotion of it, from the outcome itself; how many of our decisions would be different? How many of those self-deprecating images that we hold on to, punishing ourselves over and over, could we forgive?
Having the ability to look at the story of our lives with no attachment is a very Zen idea, and very difficult for those of us who are mere mortals to be able to easily grasp. Admittedly, automatically becoming detached in the face of an unexpected emotional moment is no easy feat. The society we live in has taught us, through various means, some subtle some not so subtle, that attachment, holding tight to our “stuff” is exactly what we need to find fulfillment in our lives.
We learn to be attached to so many things. Things like bigger houses, better cars, designer label; stuff stuff and more stuff, even if we can’t afford it, even if this self-same stuff is lessening the quality of our life. We become attached to jobs we may not enjoy, and that don’t add to the excellent life we all deserve, but we NEED these jobs to pay for all of the stuff we are attached to. Simply by having the job to pay for the stuff makes our lives less of what we’d like them to be, creating unhealthy habits and lessening the quality of our lives.
Here’s a simple experiment you can perform to test the effectiveness of detachment in your own life. Choose a shopping bag or trash bag (you select the size), take it into your closet, wardrobe or dresser, fill it up with whatever items you haven’t worn or used in the past 6 months. This could be clothes, shoes, belts, socks, linens, hats… you get the idea. Take this bag directly to your nearest donation center box, take a deep breath and pitch it in.
There may be a moment’s hesitation but push through it, and I promise that a feeling of lightness and freedom will take its place. And that’s only one bag of stuff. Imagine if you could detach from all the things, people, bad memories in your life that are no longer adding to the quality of your life.
Detachment can also be an effective tool when used during discussions that become emotionally charged. If you can step away mentally, (physically if you’re in danger of course), focus on the point at hand, not allowing that flood of past hurts and angers to seep into the discussion at hand, not taking comments and remarks personally; understanding that the words being spoken by someone else have only to do with them and their life experiences, nothing to do with you. Even if you’d shared those experiences, the influence on you and your understanding was completely unique to you.
This is an interesting phenomenon, and one I feel compelled to share, as practicing detachment eliminates the need for a winner or a loser, as there is no attachment to the outcome. Can you imagine if we could eliminate the negative competition from our social interactions, governments, and corporations how much less stress we would endure as humans? Really try to imagine it…
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