How do I detach with love?
Detaching with love from my loved ones and others around me was hard for me to do. My life was dependent on helping and serving and doing for others. I spent a lot of time solving other people’s problems. As I tried to detach, the focus moved to me and I began to see my own shortcomings and weaknesses. I had a hard time being with my own thoughts and feelings.
I feel accepted in support meetings. As I grow in my own self-acceptance I find more courage to detach with love from others and put my focus where it belongs – on me. I am slowly growing to feel comfortable with myself and my thoughts and feelings.
Instead of being angry and miserable and bitter when a loved one indulges in their addictions, I can choose to work on a hobby I have neglected. I can go to a movie or indulge in a physical activity. When a co-worker has a problem at work I can tell them my experience. Then let go of how they choose to solve their problem. When someone is angry with another, I can say “I’m sure you will find a creative solution”. Instead of getting angry when a loved one tries to draw me into a disagreement, I can leave until I am calm.
With practice it is becoming easier to detach and I am learning to respect, know and spend time with myself. As I learn to accept others as they are and let them solve their own problems, I am learning to listen to ideas and concerns without the need to control.
Detach with love.
At support meetings I often hear “detach with love”. But, how to I detach from my loved one and why should I? Is that even a good idea?
I can make myself crazy by trying to find out what my loved ones are doing when I’m not there, or by worrying about what they are doing, or by trying to control their life and situations so they won’t be tempted to turn to their addictions. These kinds of things can make me anxious and worried and keep me in turmoil and chaos.
There are healthy ways to detach from my loved ones with addictions. If I relax and let myself find peace and focus on my own healing, I can find serenity. I know that I will be given the knowledge I need when I need it. My job is to take care of myself. I can trust my loved one to Heavenly Father. He knows how to help them much more than I can.
God will help me to know the things I can do and say that will influence my loved ones for good. I can seek for peace for myself and listen to Him.
I used to think that detaching was a bad thing. I love this person, why would I even want to detach? How can I be a kind and loving person if I detach?
Over time I am learning that detaching with love is a valuable tool. In fact, detaching with love is a loving way of life. Detaching with love allows me to take care of myself so I can serve and help others with my bucket full. Detaching with love sometimes means stepping back and allowing others to struggle, learn and grow. If a loved one is trying to pull me into an argument I don’t have to read and answer every text. I can let calls go to voice mail. I don’t have to respond immediately to every request and question. I can say “Let me get back to you on that.” Sometimes serving someone else is taking care of me. If I ask, Heavenly Father will help me to know what is needful and when I need to say no or let go.
As I am learning to detach with love I am finding that my life is more relaxed, serene and peaceful. I do not have to participate in drama. Taking care of me is a full time job!
Mean or feeling guilty?
Why do my loved ones snap at me, say mean things or criticize me? When this happens I tend to fall back into my old coping mechanisms of hiding and feeling fear and anxiety.
My support groups tell me that my loved ones lash out at others because they feel guilty. Sometimes I just wonder why they are so mean. I don’t know why they do and say as they do. It could be for many reasons.
I do know that when I can just let it go, like water running off my back, then I am much happier. When I take it personally it can send me into an anxiety and fear episode that can be difficult to extract myself from.
Today I want to be happy and have peace and joy in my life. So, I take a deep breath, remember all the tools I have learned, choose one that applies and practice using one of my new coping methods. Soon I am able to relax. I am happier, more peaceful and joyful!
Detach with love.
Learning to detach with love has been an interesting adventure. I used to be very obsessed with my loved one’s (and friends, acquaintances, students, etc.) lives. Learning that I can’t really control other people, places and things, that I really only have control over myself has been eye opening.
I am much more peaceful and have more time to create and serve others when I’m not so busy obsessing over what others do or don’t do, think or don’t think. When I take care of me and my own responsibilities, it takes 100% of my time. I am doing a much better job taking care of myself now than when I thought everyone else was my job. Of course I did not think I was trying to control others. I thought I was being helpful and serving them. I did not realize that what I was actually doing was often enabling them in their addictions or teaching them that they did not know how to take care of themselves.
To “detach with love” is not callous and uncaring. I can be loving and kind as I refrain from taking over. I can be a good listener as I allow others to make mistakes and to learn and grow. I show others that they are capable when I do not allow myself to jump in or take control.