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Monday, March 26, 2012

Detachment is not indifference, it is freedom

The past two years have been a steep personal growth point for me- a VERY STEEP growth point. I have come to understand many things about myself and the world around me. I have learned some very tough and difficult lessons about my life, the people who truly matter most in my life, and sadly, some who never did nor will. It hasn’t been easy, but it has allowed me to become a better person in every aspect of my life.
Detachment has a great deal to do with the growth I have experienced. Detachment from unhealthy thoughts, feelings, people, and activities has freed up my mind, heart, and time to explore and know a world of wonder. It took many years and a great deal of soul-searching and introspection to get where I am. Once I got it, I REALLY got it! Detachment is an amazing thing! So this is what real freedom feels like!

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

-  from the Livestrong website

Detachment has given me a sense of peace and allowed me to release hurt and disappointment. It isn’t a deadening or denial of feelings. It is actually quite the opposite!

Detachment has cleared the way for me to remove myself from people and things that were holding me back, or drawing me into situations of drama and unhealthy and unbalanced relationships and situations. It was affecting my professional, as well as, my personal life. It’s okay that I can’t “FIX “everything and everyone around me. And on the flip side, I respect their right to their own way of feeling and acting. It isn’t my job to worry about everyone and every situation. It is my job to worry about my own actions and choices.
For many years, I was too trusting and accepting for my own good. I wanted to see things that either didn’t exist or I imagined possibility where there was none. I am a naturally optimistic person, but I have learned the hard way that there are going to be relationships and situations where people are just not going to understand, accept, like, appreciate or love me. And that is okay!  It is up to me to LOVE MYSELF.

   I found that I was emotionally investing in people I should not have.  I was allowing myself to be hurt over and over again. And for what? For whom? Really!!! WHY was I doing that to myself? I finally had that “AHA” moment and understood it was up to ME to finally realize that I can’t change others, I can only change myself. Establishing emotional boundaries was one of the greatest steps I have ever taken to get to the place of peace and happiness I have finally attained.

If others want to engage in "dramarific" and petty games because they are emotionally or intellectually incapable of having healthy relationships, so be it. I am not signing on for those kind of relationships anymore.
I wasted too many years of my life on situations/friendships/ relationships/people  that either wouldn’t or couldn’t give me the respect or consideration I deserved. It wasn’t up to me to FIX every situation! 
It has taken nearly all of my life to get here, but it was worth every minute. WhileI wish I could have gotten here sooner, the truly important thing is that I made it.

And of course there are still situations and people which cause me to feel negative feelings, emotions, and distress. I am only human. But I find these situations become less frequent and less powerful with each passing day.

It feels good to be in control of myself, my actions, my life and my choices without having to obsess or worry about those things in others.


  1. Thank you for your post, I am on this journey now. I believe I was at a point in my life where I truly felt the freedom of detachment, then I allowed myself to revert to the old me. I can't allow that to be true anymore. I matter too much. :)

  2. Thank you for your comment. I am glad that detachment is part of your journey. One day at a time.

  3. Enmeshed, is a way of life for many of us. It starts when we are still open and vulnerable as babies and have no way of knowing how we are being trained up in it.. isn't it good to be able to spot it and work to reverse it? .. truly a freedom. Congratulations on having undertaken the difficult work of doing just that.