I’ve written about having faith in others, in yourself, in a Higher Power, etc. before. I’ve talked about letting go in similar ways related to our desires and intentions, and even a little about letting go in relationships and with the loss of a loved ones. I’ve discussed detachment a bit too.
I must be honest, these are some of the harder things for me. In particular, I had difficulty for quite a while with letting go of a desire – or what some call the law of detachment.
The essence of the Way is detachment. – Bodhidharma
Like many of you reading this, I’ve had challenges and uncertainty in my life and in today’s economy. We often consider that uncertainty is always bad.
But it is important to realize that there are good things related to uncertainty. With uncertainty there is a break or freedom from what has happened – from the past. The past does not equal the future. We have the opportunity to escape our own past habits, conditioning, from what we now know. It is an opportunity.
He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment. –Meister Eckhart
If we are willing to step into the unknown, to have faith, and to detach ourselves from the outcome, we surrender ourselves to our own creative subconscious, to other people’s love and support, and to the creative powers that exist in this universe.
Deepak Chopra says, in relation to the Law of Detachment, “in order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish you attachment to it.”
This doesn’t mean that you give up the intention or the desire, but you give up the attachment to the result.
That’s sometimes a little esoteric for me and difficult for me to do. I do know that it can also be very powerful.
I think about times in the past when I felt that I ‘needed’ a chunk of money to pay something. There are times when I needed a few hundred, other times when I needed tens of thousands of dollars for something.
Maybe for you it was a relationship that you wanted. Or maybe you wanted a new client, more sales, a new car, a house, that gadget, whatever.
We focus on it and we think about it and really just hang on it, right? We have a burning desire, we make a strategy and we really, really want it.
This is typically attachment. Typically this is not helpful. It can be based on insecurity, fear, scarcity. We think that we don’t have it, that it is separate from us and that we have a void and we want it to fill the void. If you think about creation and abundance, those things are opposites. It can also show a lack of faith in ourselves and Creation.
Abundance, Creation, wealth, can fulfill every need. But are these things that we are chasing, really a need? Are they really necessary?
When we ‘chase things’ we create anxiety, tension, stress, don’t we? As Chopra says, “Attachment comes from poverty consciousness, because attachment is always to symbols. Detachment is synonymous with wealth consciousness, because with detachment there is freedom to create. Only from detached involvement can one have joy and laughter.”
When Chopra speaks of symbols, he means the materialistic, physical things that we desire in life; cars, money, homes, clothes, etc. Often these things can leave us feeling hollow.
Attachment leads us more towards a world of helplessness, hopelessness, desparation and seriousness, doesn’t it? Think of those times when you felt that you needed something ASAP. You probably worried more, thought about the problem, thought about something related to it from the past or future and you weren’t in the present moment. You probably weren’t as creative or joyful, right?
So How do we DETACH?: Essentially let go or hand over things to your Creator/God/Higher Power. Let go of all the persons, places and things which you would like to see changed but which you cannot change on your own.
Realize and take responsibility for your own actions and accept that there is only one person you can change and that is yourself. Let go of the “need” to fix, change, rescue or heal other persons, places and things.
Real detachment means inner strength, and the ability to function calmly and with full inner control under all circumstances. A detached person is not harassed and hurried, and can do everything with concentration and attention, thus insuring a successful outcome of his actions.
There is wisdom in uncertainty. There is freedom and creativity in uncertainty, detachment.
To be consistently effective, you must put a certain distance between yourself and what happens to you on the golf course. This is not indifference, it’s detachment. -Sam SneadWhen we are attached to something, we are in some way trying to control things. Controlling such is this is typically because we’re afraid. Our fear and our ego leads us to believe that somehow if we control things, everything will be OK. Instead, letting go will open us up to other possibilities.
We all seek security in one way or another. Again, I cite Chopra’s example when we might desire money and expect security from it. “When I have X million dollares, then I’ll be secure.” But it never happens.
“Seeking security in this manner can lead us to chase it for a lifetime without ever finding it.” Deepak Chopra. http://www.chopra.com/laws/detachment
Let’s talk more about uncertainty. Here you step into the unknown. This world is wide open. It is yet to be defined. It is the drop in the water of life that starts the ripples, that start the waves. All things are now possible. You will also experience excitement, adventure, mystery, magic, celebration, exhilaration.
It is ok not to have a complete, firm idea what you’re doing in the future. If you get too specific, to rigid, you can shut out the possibilities that may be available to you.
You can still have a goal but when you consider uncertainty, your goal could change or other possibilities and opportunities can come up. It isn’t about forcing an idea or solution. It is more about being open to what comes along and being alert and prepared in the present moment.
As they say, good luck is opportunity and being prepared.
Softly and kindly remind yourself, “I cannot own anything.””It is a valuable thought to keep in mind as you struggle to improve your financial picture, worry about investments, and plan how to acquire more and more. It is a universal principle which you are part of. You must release everything when you truly awaken. Are you letting your life go by in frustration and worry over not having enough? If so, relax and remember that you only get what you have for a short period of time. When you awaken you will see the folly of being attached to anything. ~Wayne Dyer”
It is also true that we all can sometimes get attached to “Our Story” – our past, our challenges, our history. This story of our life can limit us greatly if we get emotional and/or attached to it. Instead, we can have a healthy detachment to our past. This allows us to more easily identify the lessons and the benefit that comes from the experience.
Are you stuck in life because you are living out of a story you told yourself long ago? Are you reliving the same story over and over, placing your attention on the story rather than where you want to go? We all do it.
LIVESTRONG.COM HAS SOME EXCELLENT POINTS ABOUT DETACHMENT
They discuss things more in terms of relationships, but it is still relevant. http://www.livestrong.com/article/14712-developing-detachment/
What is detachment?
Detachment is the:
* Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves.
* Holding back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational.
* Giving another person “the space” to be herself.
* Disengaging from an over-enmeshed or dependent relationship with people.
* Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place or thing.
* Developing and maintaining of a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life.
* Establishing of emotional boundaries between you and those people you have become overly enmeshed or dependent with in order that all of you might be able to develop your own sense of autonomy and independence.
* Process by which you are free to feel your own feelings when you see another person falter and fail and not be led by guilt to feel responsible for their failure or faltering.
* Ability to maintain an emotional bond of love, concern and caring without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing or controlling.
* Placing of all things in life into a healthy, rational perspective and recognizing that there is a need to back away from the uncontrollable and unchangeable realities of life.
* Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point.
* Ability to let people you love and care for accept personal responsibility for their own actions and to practice tough love and not give in when they come to you to bail them out when their actions lead to failure or trouble for them.
* Ability to allow people to be who they “really are” rather than who you “want them to be.”
* Ability to avoid being hurt, abused, taken advantage of by people who in the past have been overly dependent or enmeshed with you.
What are the negative effects not detaching?
If you are unable to detach from people, places or things, then you:
* Will have people, places or things which become over-dependent on you.
* Run the risk of being manipulated to do things for people, at places or with things which you do not really want to do.
* Can become an obsessive “fix it” who needs to fix everything you perceive to be imperfect.
* Run the risk of performing tasks because of the intimidation you experience from people, places or things.
* Will most probably become powerless in the face of the demands of the people, places or things whom you have given the power to control you.
* Will be blind to the reality that the people, places or things which control you are the uncontrollables and unchangeables you need to let go of if you are to become a fully healthy, coping individual.
* Will be easily influenced by the perception of helplessness which these people, places or things project.
* Might become caught up with your idealistic need to make everything perfect for people, places or things important to you even if it means your own life becomes unhealthy.
* Run the risk of becoming out of control of yourself and experience greater low self-esteem as a result.
* Will most probably put off making a decision and following through on it, if you rationally recognize your relationship with a person, place or thing is unhealthy and the only recourse left is to get out of the relationship.
* Will be so driven by guilt and emotional dependence that the sickness in the relationship will worsen.
* Run the risk of losing your autonomy and independence and derive your value or worth solely from the unhealthy relationship you continue in with the unhealthy person, place or thing.