“The art of detachment”


“To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let compassion, things come and go on their own.” –Jack Kornfield


Have you ever suffered badly after losing/quitting a job you loved? Or after a break-up with your partner? Or maybe after losing a good connection with a very much attached person? Attachment and suffering go hand in hand. What are you most afraid of in life? I asked a friend. Attachment, she answered.

We have come to a point where we rightly recognize attachment as the root cause of pain. But, as humans letting go of attachment is nearly impossible as it feels like letting go of life itself.

Holding on to pain doesn’t fix anything. Replaying the past over and over again doesn’t change it, and wishing things were different doesn’t make it so. In some cases, especially when it comes to the past, all you can do is accept whatever it is you’re holding on to and then let it go. That’s how everything changes. You have to let go of what is hurting you, even if it feels almost impossible. Deciding to hold on to the past will hold you back from creating a strong sense of self — a self that isn’t defined by your past, but rather by who you want to be. Oddly enough, painful feelings can be comfortable, especially if they’re all you know.

Some people have trouble letting go of their pain or other unpleasant emotions about their past because they think those feelings are part of their identity. In some ways, they may not know who they are without their pain. This makes it impossible for them to let go.

If there’s one thing we all have in common is that we want to feel happy and on the other side of that coin, we want to avoid hurting. Yet we consistently put ourselves in situations that set us up for pain.

We pin our happiness to people, circumstances, things and hold onto them for a lovable life. We stress about the possibility of losing them when something seems amiss. Then we melt into grief when something changes - a lay off or a breakup.

We attach to feelings as if they define us and ironically with not only just positive ones. If you’ve wallowed in regret or disappointment for years, it can seem safe and even comforting to suffer.

In trying to hold on to what’s familiar, we limit our ability to experience joy in the present.

A moment can’t possibly radiate fully when you’re suffocating it in fear. When you stop trying to grasp, own and control the world around you, you give it the freedom to fulfill you without the power to destroy you. That’s why letting go is so important - letting go is letting happiness in.

Giving a person, a relationship, a dream, a goal – the power to control you in such a way that without it, you cannot imagine your existence can have drastic effects.

But is it supposed to be like this? Are we to spend our lives in attaching ourselves to mortal things and suffer when we are left without it? This is where the concept of detached attachment comes into the picture.


What do you mean by the Detached attachment?

Detached Attachment is when you let go of control and allow your possessions to come and pass. You are not the owner but a caretaker. Appreciate, while it belongs to you and when the time comes; let go as if it was never meant for you.

Like in The Bhagavad Gita Krishna tells Arjuna that acting with detachment means doing the right thing for its own sake, because it needs to be done, without worrying about success or failure.

Detachment takes practice. You need to work on it day by day to instill it in your life.

“ Detachment does not mean not caring. It means caring for yourself first and letting others take responsibility for their actions without trying to save or punish them.”

My point is very clear to involve yourself in the moment. Live, laugh, love, enjoy. Do whatever you want, but at this moment. After you are finished just detach yourself from everything.

Detaching yourself from the world around you will give you immense strength to hold eternal happiness. Otherwise, you will be in distress forever.

Maintain neutrality in your nature, behavior, and character. Don’t get too close to someone. Don’t get too emotional about everything. Dwelling in your past won’t rectify the mistakes you made or if you are cherishing those golden memories you had once are not going to recreate again. And the same applied to the future also, peeping into your future and dreaming about it just a waste of your time. We have only the present, make maximum use of it.