One reason people often struggle with detachment is because the skill of detachment necessarily relies on the ability to accept your own thoughts and feelings. When you go through life in everyone’s business and taking on the problems of the world, it’s nearly impossible to look at what’s going on in your own head. It often appears easier to “fix” other people than to even face our own problems, let alone “fix” them.
Of course, we know we can not fix other people’s problems. We can offer our empathy, we can venture to offer advise if we dare, we can even physically assist someone in certain circumstances. But, we can never “fix” other people. We are not gods, nor do we have the power over other people that enables us to do for someone what they can’t or won’t do for themselves. So we must learn detachment.
But, when we detach from other people and stop trying to control or fix them, we are left with ourselves. We see our own flaws more clearly and come to realize that we need some control and fixing. It can be uncomfortable. Yet, it’s necessary for personal growth. How can we begin to heal and grow if we aren’t really looking at ourselves and seeing with a clear head who and what we are?
And more importantly, once we do see ourselves, can we accept what we find? To know and love ourselves is the real challenge. Learning to love ourselves in a realistic way depends on seeing our selves in a realistic way. Once we truly start to see ourselves, we can strive to focus on the good and accept what needs some fine tuning. In a way, this is a further detachment from even ourselves. We know who we are and we accept it. That’s a real focus and a real detachment that can foster drastic personal growth.
So, first detach from others and stop trying to control and change people, places, and things. Then, get to know yourself for who you really are. Lastly, accept and love yourself completely and without reservation. Know that you can’t truly love another until you’ve learned to love yourself.
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
– Lucille Ball