Sourced with thanks from thriveglobal.com
Is attachment the cause of our unhappiness? Will detachment cause happiness? To help you understand this better here is some easy reading that may throw more light on this existential dilemma. In the article below the author tries to explain the concepts, clarify misconceptions and suggest how to practice and live with detachment. Team RetyrSmart
How can detachment help you find more happiness?
How do we learn to detach from those things we care about? And why is attachment harmful to us?
Understanding What Attachment Is
Attachments are mental or emotional bonds we have to something outside ourselves. It’s baggage that we pick up along our path through life. We like some of it, some we depend on, and other items we aren’t aware we are carrying. Yet, we become so enmeshed with them they may define us and determine our course of action.
These attachments are like relationships and can become unstable. And since we can’t control outside forces or others, the suffering caused by our determination to maintain the status quo is inevitable. Because we think our happiness depends on outward circumstances, not our inner authenticity. We believe us not having this thing, this one person in our lives, or this way of being, will make us unhappy.
Being attached to anything is energy draining. Why? Because this clinginess has us focus on only one outcome. It limits the possibilities that the Universe could give us. Because we believe only one thing will make us happy. And when the outcome differs from what we feel we wanted, we aren’t open to see that this result is better than what we thought we sought. Worry is the wasted energy of attachment. It also flows from the fear of loss and is very disempowering.
These ties leave powerful impressions and create a sense of dependency. Why? Because when you’re without them, you feel you’re missing something and even have a sense of loss or pain. These ties cause stress, unhappiness, and limit your perspective.
Don’t cling to things because everything is impermanent. ~ Mitch Albom
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Determining If You’re Overly Attached
When you’re attached to a thought, outcome, or person, it creates negative feelings when you think of losing it. You can feel emotions like anxiety, anger, sadness when you’re afraid of loss or pride and vanity at the idea that it is yours. This attachment gives away the power you have over your life. It gives the power to the thing you are afraid of losing.
So, what can people get attached to? Anything- relationships, jobs, outcomes, thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, money, status, titles, cars, homes, ideas, other’s opinions, labels.
When we allow attachment to occur, there is too much emotional involvement. This immersion leads to fearful thinking, which leads to not making a change, even if it’s for the better. These ties negatively affect rational thinking and prevent us from seeing the potential outcomes and better possibilities.
My husband and I want to move to a small town outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. But I told my husband we couldn’t move until our granddaughter had graduated high school in another eight years. I allowed my attachment to her to prevent us from moving forward with what we want in our lives.
Please don’t confuse attachment with love. I love my granddaughter but not living out my dreams because where she lives is attachment. Wanting to be involved in my granddaughter’s life differs from entangling my life around hers. That’s called drama, especially for her.
Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached – Simone Weil
Detachment is the process of letting go of the egoic emotional ties that keep us stuck. It’s the ability to release the negativity of the circumstances we find ourselves. It’s not about giving up or not caring. Instead, it’s about accepting what is, appreciating all we have, and creating the life of our dreams.
When we can detach from the past as well as future expectations, we can see our lives with more clarity. Detachment from the outcome means worry and anxiety melt away because we are accepting what is. In reality, if we struggle against the circumstances, we create angst and make everything worse until we acknowledge the situation.
Most attachment is about control, and detaching means we understand that the only thing we can control is ourselves and how we respond to the situation. When we accept the unknown is a part of our lives, it sets us free.
Detachment looks like a calm person in a difficult situation who actively looks for a solution without the emotional hype. It’s setting personal boundaries so other’s negativity doesn’t affect us.
Detaching can take time, as it requires us to reframe how we see our relationships, beliefs, and dreams. It allows us to be more tolerant and compassionate with others. It also means we are learning to trust the Universe as it knows what we need to grow and expand our souls.
In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty…in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe. ~ Deepak Chopra
Learning How to Detach
Awareness is the first step in any change we want to make in our lives. So become an observer of your thoughts. Notice where you feel angst concerning an outcome. What do you worry about? What is causing you stress? You will see clinginess when you are emotional.
Now, you need to learn to differentiate between the egoic voice and the soulful whispers of your soul. Remember, your ego is trying to protect you from the unknown and, therefore, will struggle against change. But the soul wants expansion, and growth only occurs outside our comfort zone and feels uncomfortable.
Learn to welcome the unknown. As we move into uncertainty, we see that security is only an illusion of the ego to keep us from living out our dreams. Discover the faith you have in the Universe and the self-confidence of your soulful self to know the right direction for your life.
Feel deeply. Detachment isn’t about not allowing our emotions to flow. Instead, we need to acknowledge them, feel them, and then release them. We understand our emotions are just a feeling we experience. We aren’t to hold on to them. Let them go.
The Law of Detachment: 1) Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are. 2) Do not force solutions – allow solutions to spontaneously emerge. 3) Uncertainty is essential, and your path to freedom. ~ Deepak Chopra
Why Detachment Is Vital
As human beings, to make authentic connections with others and form lasting bonds, we need to learn some emotional detachment. It allows us to remain calm and balanced no matter what the circumstances. In addition, it helps us build confidence in our decision-making skills because we are learning to take the right actions.
All fear is based on attachment that the egoic mind causes. So detachment is the antidote to the depression we feel about the past, the anxiety we feel about the future, and the upset we have about our dealings with others. And it is a skill you can learn.
Any negativity caused by attachment disrupts our flow, causes distractions, allows for miscommunication in our relationships, and overall creates drama in our lives. So detachment enables peace of mind, joy, clarity, and loving connections to occur.
We will all continue to have upsetting circumstances and unpleasant people in our lives. But now, we have a tool to help us deal with them instead of reacting to them. As a result, we will be able to stay calm despite the situation. And the never-ending replay in our minds won’t even start playing, so our thoughts won’t cause us to suffer. No longer will we allow others to take away our joy and inner peace.
The benefits of detachment in the face of intense emotional activity can’t be overstated. It doesn’t cut you off from your heart centre; it opens you more. In fact, when you refrain from absorbing the energy around you, you’ll remain clear and grounded, you’ll be able to easily access your creative and intuitive channel, and you’ll be able to choose to use the messages you receive from your Higher Self. ~ Sonia Choquette
Finding Happiness Through Detachment
Happiness comes from within, not through external means. So when you release your attachment to things, people, outcomes, you enable joy to rise from within you because the external conditions no longer have power over your happiness.
Clinging to people and things is a sign of our fear of losing them. When we detach from them, we loosen our grip. We allow them to be and enjoy them more. We see them from a place of love as a blessing in our lives. We are no longer seeing them through the eyes of fear and potential loss.
Detachment is a practice, a tool we use to help us move towards our goals, just as compassion is a practice for making authentic connections with others. So detaching ourselves doesn’t mean we no longer love or feel. We are no longer giving up power over ourselves. Instead, we are allowing self-love to rise up and move us towards our dreams.
Un-attachment offers peace of mind, self-confidence, empowerment, and happiness. Genuine freedom comes through detachment.
True detachment isn’t separation from life but the absolute freedom within your mind to explore living. ~ Ron. W. Rathbun
Moving Forward Unattached
When you can detach from the past and look forward without attaching to the outcomes, happiness becomes a regular part of your life. Detachment helps us reframe missteps and helps focus us on the positive characteristics in our lives.
It brings our focus to the present moment. Non-attachment allows us to accept what is without angst and eliminates the struggle with our egoic mind about the circumstances. Let go. Move forward, unattached.
As we become more conscious of our unhealthy attachments, we can learn to detach to live the life of our dreams.
Indifference looks like detachment, but it is not; indifference is simply no interest. Detachment is not absence of interest – detachment is absolute interest, tremendous interest, but still with the capacity of non-clinging. Enjoy the moment while it is there and when the moment starts disappearing, as everything is bound to disappear, let it go. That is detachment. ~ Rajneesh