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Detachment * Can You?
a.k.a. Let go or be dragged ...
I was on this very topic yesterday with a friend. Her
parting words were something like it sounded like a good idea but she had “never
been good at detaching.” Hours went by before I had the “ah ha!” Detachment
doesn’t come easily to anyone! It is one of the most difficult of all the Love
Skills to master …
neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgment or condemnation of the
person or situation from which we are detaching. Separating ourselves from the
adverse affects of another person’s behavior* can be a means of detaching: This
does not necessarily require physical separation. Detachment can help us look at
our situations realistically and objectively.
Detachment allows us to let go of our obsession with another’s behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights, lives guided by a Power greater than ourselves. We can still Love the person without liking the behavior.
~ Al-Anon Family Groups
Detachment means you can stop:
Suffering because of the actions or reactions of other people
Allowing yourself to be used or abused by others
Doing for others what they can do for themselves
Manipulating situations so others will eat, got to bed, pay bills, exercise, or do whatever you think they “should” do.
Covering up for another’s mistakes or misdeeds
Creating A Crisis
Preventing a crisis if it is in the natural course of events
* Definition of “Another Person’s Behavior”: Often ends with “ing” * thinking, eating, speaking, spending, drinking, worrying, complaining, smoking, gambling, procrastinating, working, not working … dying. Which one is worrying you right now?
SO = Significant Other a.k.a anyone who inspires your need to control or pushes your buttons * anger, fear, resentment … If they weren’t significant, you wouldn’t care!
#1. Agree! Instead of disagreeing with something
your SO says try saying “You could be right.”
Detach from your need to be right, smarter, better, …
#2. Pillow Fight! Next time you feel worried about
your SOs behavior – what they are doing or not doing – tell yourself that you
will worry about it later. In fact, make a Pillow Fight Date with yourself.
During that time – say 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. you will do nothing but worry and vent.
Beat pillows, talk to your pillow, focus on the worst case scenario and only the
worst case scenario. Give yourself permission to wallow and only wallow – no
solutions – no hope allowed during this time. BUT (and this is very important)
when your time is up – your Pillow Fight is over – get back to detachment.
You can set 5, 10+ pillow fights during the day if that is what it takes – the point is to get “it” out appropriately vs. allow “it” – worry, fear, anger -seep into and spoil your day – your life.
Detach from your habit of anger, resentment, overwhelm, feeling taken advantage of …
What is your emotional habit? Everyone has one.
#3. Walk it off! The next time you start in, get up
and walk it off, literally. Walk around the block and smell the flowers, window
shop, find a puppy to pet … keep your focus on your body parts – feel your legs
pumping – notice your breathing Just a five or ten minute walk break can help
you detach and get back into the flow of Love & life.
Detach from the habit of repressing and going “numb.”
Get “it” out in a healthy physical way vs. an unhealthy way … drinking, smoking, eating, ulcering, insomnia, hair loss ….
#4. Breathe! Notice your breathing right now. Is it coming up from your tummy or from high in your stressed out chest? When we are upset we tend to breathe high and shallow, or, at an extreme, suffer from Stress Related Asthma. I ended up in the hospital once at 2:00 a.m. with this and a bad case of denial … that’s another story, another time.
How To Relax At Your Desk
Detach from shutting down, literally, when you are in pain.
How do you shut down? Is it working for you?
#5. Talk it Out! Have coffee with a friend or
someone who may have gone through what you’re going through and could share
their experience and hope. If you need to talk it out with a “pro” get several
referrals from your doctor.
Detach from the need to suffer in silence.
“Isolation is the darkroom in which we develop our negatives.”
Finally … detachment is a Love Skill. Just like any skill – cooking (yikes!), hitting a killer backhand shot, dancing Salsa - it requires practice and patience to master. We are programmed to worry, blame and try to control other people and situations. Just for today try something new and start building a life you’ll Love to share with that very special SO …
Love on! Viveca
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