I’ve mentioned that sometimes I struggle with concepts that just seem to get stuck in my head. So how to get them out of there or release them all together? Today’s phrase deals with that very issue.
Let’s embrace the idea of Lovingly Detaching on this edition of “Becoming Today”.
While the essence of “Becoming” involves enlarging our circle, reaching out to one another and aiding those we can, the reality is there are times in life we must detach ourselves from certain people, places, things and even ideas. Now this does not have to be harsh and should not be done cruelly.
While I certainly have been no stranger to the theory of “Tough Love” popularized by Leo Buscaglia, I think too often there is a wrong emphasis, with too much attention put on the being tough aspect. I know at times in my life I have certainly been guilty of that. Admittedly it may have helped for a mere moment but the fallout or repercussions in some cases have taken years to overcome. Impacting not only others, but my own self healing and personal development. Those are lessons I do not want to repeat.
I understand there are times when this theory is very effective and can even be life saving, however it’s important to keep the emphasis on the Love part and while realizing the need to let go and overcome adverse situations, being tough in an uncompromising manner is not the key.
That’s why I’ve grown to understand and better embrace the idea of Lovingly Detaching.
While both Tough Love and Lovingly Detaching require us to remain steadfast, strong and forbearance, or sticking to our principles and beliefs, detaching is less harsh. We cannot force anyone to take personal responsibility, nor should we try to take on the management of their actions, rather we must learn to love within wise choices rather than simply be reactionary with emotional responses.
It is far more compassionate to love from a distance rather than allowing ourselves and loved ones to spiral down together.
Learning to love while at times disengaging from being reactionary allows us not only to protect ourselves but help foster the emotional and at times physical health of the others involved. We all must deal with our own consequences, the result of our actions, decisions, attitudes and beliefs. So why not make it so we are celebrating the outcomes rather than trying to repair, overcome or run away from?
If you are recognizing the need to put some distance between you and someone or something, here are some questions for you to ponder:
Is this healthy for me?
Can I accept the outcome of my decision?
What is my motivation?
Do I have other options?
Is this a wise choice?
Self examination of your own motives and needs are essential in developing and sharing compassion along with lovingly detaching.
The process also aids in empowering your own personal freedom and improving your true sense of self.
Let’s now talk about some of the qualities that detaching is and is not.
To detach oneself you must find your center. Remain balanced or as close to it as you can find. It’s a way of seeking objectivity and remaining neutral in any perceived outcomes. Results will vary and the eventual outcome needs to be what is best for the individuals, groups and situations, not what you may be desiring at the moment. This also allows for lessening or preventing any co-dependence that may be happening.
Detachment does not involve becoming aloof, running away from ( unless there is a true danger you need to escape) , turning your back on, ignoring, giving the “silent treatment” or shutting yourself down emotionally. Nor does it mean to neglect or overlook someone’s true needs. The distancing that is involved is in the setting or revising of boundaries.
To lovingly detach we must release our expectations and untangle ourselves from the problems of others. In some cases this also means keeping your nose out of their business.
Do not allow them to push your buttons and you should not be trying to provoke their responses either.
Having appropriate boundaries involves accepting the realities of the situation. Yes there are more than one. We need to consider our grasp of the situation, how the other is perceiving it and it’s impacts on the “we” or “us” of a the shared state of being.
With a shared understanding of that we can reexamine what it means to death, release or let go.
You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current realities go. It’s something we have all had to ask ourselves, multiple times. Some more than others, but nonetheless it is simply a part of the human condition.When we suffer emotional pain, how do you let go of the past and move on?
First you need to accept that it is a conscious decision. One that involves taking action. Holding on to the past is just like letting go and moving forward. You decide . It’s your choice. Once you make the decision then you take action to make it happen.
To me it seems the best way to heal is by learning a lesson from the situation, then using it to be “Becoming”. Channel your thoughts, intentions, desires and energies into focusing on growth and building that momentum that moves both forward and upward.
Do not get stuck in the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” mentality. Hanging onto what should have happened, what could have happened, or what you wished would have happened, give yourself motivation to get over it. Release it and heal. Or keep a grip on it and be paralyzed; immobilized by feelings of pain and bad memories.
If you are telling yourself you are ready to move on from a negative experience, but still are not sure how to get started, here are some steps to assist you in letting go…
- Develop Positive Self Talk
Those endless conversions that go on inside of you, and sometimes aloud when you think you’re alone are the starting line. How you talk to yourself can either help you move on or keep you bogged down.
One technique to improve your internal dialogue is to create a Reassuring, Reaffirming Mantra.
Instead of limiting yourself by thinking things like “Why me? Why did this happen to me!” Declare positive energy. Try something like, “I am so fortunate to be “Becoming”. Finding this new positive path in life is good for me.”
- Practice Mindfulness
The most important moment in our lives, is the one we are currently experiencing. Make the most of it. Focusing on the present moment, it lessens the possibilities for a negative impact that either the past or future can have on us
- Be Kind To Yourself
We are all our own worst critics. Now is the best time to show yourself some kindness and compassion. Treat yourself like you would someone else. Nurture, be loving, and kind. The more you are able to let self-care become an automatic habitual response into your daily life, the more you are empowering yourself. (You go girl!)
4. Let your emotions flow freely
Do not keep things bottled up. Burying your feelings not only causes the pain to remain, oftentimes it can increase and have negative physical effects on our bodies ( and minds) as well. You are not the only one who has ever been afraid to face a negative or painful emotion, just realize you need to do it. Face your fears, breathe and let them pass through you. Do not allow them to define you. .
5. Foster Your Loving Circle
Yes it is a simple step, yet it is oh so powerful. Enlarging our circles of positive people helps to lighten your load, share the burdens and get you through a lot of pain.
No one is an island. You can not live life alone. Therefore you should not expect yourself to overcome hurts alone either.
6. Tell Yourself It’s Okay to Talk About “It”
When you’re dealing with painful emotions, it is important to allow yourself permission to talk about it.Some people are unable to release it, because they falsely believe they aren’t allowed to talk about it. Find a friend, pastor, support group or therapist who are patient and accepting.
7. Forgive and Forget
This is a vital part of “Becoming”. Not only forgiving others for perceived wrongs, and asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt but also forgiving yourself.
It is then, and only then, that you can let go of anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and you get busy moving on.
To let go of past hurts, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation. However, this can take time and practice. Be kind to yourself as your practice refocusing how you see the situation, and celebrate the small victories you have.
8. Reinforce Better Boundaries
Like the old adage, “good fences, make good neighbors”, boundaries are beneficial to all involved in or experiencing a common situation. Respecting not only your own boundaries, but those of others aids us in being able to release things more easily. Plus it gives us the space to remain objective and view the issues or circumstances from a place of being lovingly detached.
The following is a great video I’ve come across that addresses many of the issues in releasing our pasts. I have no affiliation with Fearless Soul, but they do have a great presentation here:
Letting go, releasing, detaching, whichever term you feel more comfortable with all require that they be done so lovingly.
When we do so we are rewarded not only in our relationships but also in our individual personal growth, being better able to embrace inner peace, which is beneficial across all areas of our lives.
It boosts our personal power, teaches us to be more resilient and allows for us to better encourage others while maintaining healthy boundaries that aid our personal freedom and acceptance of responsibility for ourselves.
We are only responsible and can only be held accountable for our own thoughts, emotions, decisions and resulting actions. The consequences of the choices of others ultimately are not ours. Becoming one’s emotional caretaker is not healthy for either person when it is based upon a false belief that you can control their pain.
What may lay ahead for someone, even ourselves we may never truly know. And tomorrow, here on “Becoming Today”, we’ll explore why that’s more than okay.
You can always share your thoughts, comments or questions below. Or if you feel the need to communicate in a private confidential way, please reach out on the form on our Contact page. I really do wish the best for each of you who finds these words and pray for you daily.