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Codependent No More CHAPTER 5
February 1, 2007
10:50 pm
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mj
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Detachment and Being Detached
By Remez Sasson

Detachment is an inner state of calmness and being uninvolved on the emotional and mental planes. It is definitely not indifference. People who are indifferent do not care about anything, and are not active and initiative. On the other hand, people who possess emotional and mental detachment can be very active and caring, though they accept calmly whatever happens. Such people accept the good and the bad equally, because they enjoy inner balance and peace.

If they cannot do or change something, it does not disturb their peace of mind. If they are convinced of the importance of some action, they will pursue it whole-heartedly, and can ignore distractions easily. If they succeed with what they do, that is fine, and if they don't, they will either try again or forget the matter and move to something else.

Count the number of times you got emotionally involved in something against your will and better judgment. How many times have you got angry, frustrated or disappointed? How many times have your moods swung high and low? Each time you tell yourself that next time you will stay cool and calm, and yet each time you forget what you said.

When it comes to personal affairs, it is hard to stay emotionally uninvolved. You get involved, and this is quite natural, otherwise life would have been boring. Involvement makes life ticking and active. Yet, it advisable to develop at least some detachment, as this will help you in many situations.

Detachment is important in daily life, in the pursuit of ambitions and on the spiritual path. It is of great importance to everyone, whether pursuing spirituality or material success. Every spiritual tradition speaks about detachment, but detachment cannot be confined only to spirituality.

Let me give you some examples of detachment. Suppose you meditate, but thoughts keep coming into your mind. You get emotionally involved with your thoughts, follow them and forget about your meditation and concentration. If you were able to manifest detachment it would have been easier to ignore the disturbing thoughts. Detachment would have helped you to stay collected and concentrated.

What happens when somebody says to you something that you do not like? You will probably become angry, unhappy or insulted. Why is this so? Because you value other's people words and opinions more than you value your own thoughts and opinions of yourself. You let other's people thoughts, words and actions influence your happiness, actions and reactions. Your happiness and actions depend on them.

On the other hand, if you are able to stay detached, you will not be disturbed. You will stay calm. You will even be able to benefit from what they say. You will not waste hours thinking about their words.

Have you ever thought how much time and energy is wasted every day brooding on useless thoughts and feelings because of the lack of detachment? Much of the anger, frustration, unhappiness, disappointments and fights are due to lack of detachment.

One of the ways to develop detachment is through meditation. It is a gradual and automatic process. In meditation one endeavors not to follow the thoughts and feelings that rise. It is a time of a mental and emotional vacation. Meditating day after day develops the habit of staying cool and calm, not only during meditation, but also in all daily life.

If you practice any kind of meditation, sooner or later you will start to experience detachment. You will find that you feel and behave in a different way under circumstances that previously raised anger or agitation. You will find that you handle your daily affairs of life in a calm and relaxed way.

Real detachment means inner strength, and the ability to function calmly and with full inner control under all circumstances. A detached person is not harassed and hurried, and can do everything with concentration and attention, thus insuring a successful outcome of his actions.

February 1, 2007
10:55 pm
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mj
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Hope for Today - December 20

.... Detaching with love was a behavior I assumed
would never be part of my recovery, even though I
knew my resentment over having an alcoholic parent
was destroying me. In spite of the negative effects
of my bitterness, I couldn't imagine living without it.
Without resentments, who would I be?
.... When I finally became tired of hurting, Al-Anon
offered me tools to incorporate into my life.
Listening to others share in meetings, reading Al-
Anon literature, becoming involved in service, and
attending Al-Anon workshops and conventions lent
me a new perspective. This outlook gave me the
opportunity to become a different and better
person, one who enjoyed the serenity of acceptance.
Simply put, I slowly came to the realization that my
alcoholic parent had been incapable of meeting my
particular expectations. In his own way and to the
extent of his abilities, he had provided me with love,
life's necessities, and support in all my endeavors.
Finally, instead of seeing a completely empty glass, I
saw that my glass was partially full. I realized that
my growing up years could have been so much worse
than they were.
.... My father's recent death showed me that, at
some point, I began loving him with detachment. A
sense of release washed over me as I realized I had
let go of the bitterness and resentment I once
thought was permanent. In their place I have a new-
found sense of freedom from resentments and hope
for the future.

Thought for the Day
..... What role do my expectations as a child play in my
difficulties as an adult?

.... .... "Relationships distorted by alcoholism and its
.... .... effects on the drinker and on us are not healed
.... .... overnight. It is not wise to expect too much too
.... .... quickly."
..... ..... ..... *This is Al-Anon*, p. 9

February 1, 2007
10:56 pm
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mj
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Good night

February 1, 2007
10:57 pm
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mamacinnamon
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I'm back. Had to play a round of Bomb It w/ my daughter. Our thing right before she goes to bed.

Good evening MJ, Bevdee, Army.

Army, you said a couple things I'd like to touch on.

"I excessively worry about H.... I just want him to me me like his wife, I want to be respected. I want him to do family things with us. Spend time as a family."

I always wanted that too but ya know I have raised 3 kids on my own w/n the bonds of marriage. There is no reason for them to be absentee fathers/husbands other than they just want to. We cannot change them, but we can have as full a family as we can w/o them. It is hard and I still try to instill to him he needs to at least be a part. But ya know ArmY; One day they will wake up and it will have all passed him by and then who will be the sorry one.

"I can't place him in God's hands because he doesn't believe, in him...and I know I'm suppose to place the problem in his hands, but it's hard, I'm scared to let go, I don't know why!!!"

Yes, you can place him in God's hands. Let me share this w/ you. My evil x had a BAD crash and they said he would not live. I didn't the Christian thing and did pray for him. He lived. I hated myself coz I prayed and God answered my prayer. I have prayed for my evil x for so many years I cannot remember how long. I DON"T want to but God says to so I do. The evil x even had the balls to tell me that someday he wants a Christian home like we have here. I was waiting for God to strike him w/ lightening but so far not yet. Point is tho that if you believe you are to pray for him then do so. YOU will receive blessings for that.

You do what you feel you need to do. We will all be here for you no matter what. I promise you I will be. (((holding you close)))

February 1, 2007
11:00 pm
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mamacinnamon
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MJ: Wonderful information, thank you.

Anybody else still here or am I it?

February 1, 2007
11:10 pm
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bevdee
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I'm here, MamaC.

February 1, 2007
11:11 pm
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mamacinnamon
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HI Bevdee:

I didn't know whether to stay or go. What's your say? Anything you'd like to talk about?

February 1, 2007
11:11 pm
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bevdee
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I am just reading you. I'm not saying this to open a wormy can, but the HP and all? I don't think my views on that should be contributed, know what I mean?

So I'm hanging back.

February 1, 2007
11:12 pm
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bevdee
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Well I had kind of a fine moment tonight- I posted it on my sister thread, but I will paste it over.

It has made me feel real -- I dunno--sassy. Hold on............

February 1, 2007
11:13 pm
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bevdee
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I have had a phone call. Since my wretched xmas with my family, I have had no contact with them.

My mother called me tonight to tell me that next week she will be going to get my sister and move her down to live with her. The foreclosure on her house is final next week.

My mother talked for over an hour about all the plans she is making for my sissy - her rehab, etc. Then she came to the point of the call. She wants me to let my daddy and his wife know.

My sister avoids my daddy's calls, never writes, etc. I believe this is because she is embarassed by her lifestyle - oh who knows? After 3 years of having his calls ignored, Daddy doesn't call her anymore.

So- I was always put in the middle of this - no-talking way they have of communicating. He would ask me if I have heard from Sissy or Mom, and I would tell him what I had heard from Mom, who had heard this from one of the nieces, or my sister - mercifulgod!! What a grapevine.

I told my mother I was not going to be the go-between anymore, but I would be happy to give her Daddy's phone #. She said'"Oh, I have it somewhere- it's in the phonebook, isn't it?"

These people kill me.

February 1, 2007
11:15 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Ok holding.

Bevdee, if you'd like to talk about your views on your HP then that is ok. We all have differing views and I'm not one to say one is better than or right or wrong. In fact, I'm gonna be brave and post on the new thread knowing I will get bashed, but I just have the urge to do so.

February 1, 2007
11:19 pm
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bevdee
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I see that I did this messenger girl thing to please everyone, my mom and daddy. Because they think after 34 years they can't speak to each other!!

Oh, but there were things I "could" tell daddy and things I couldn't. Then when I talked to my mother, she would ask me what HE said.

It was uncomfortable, and I am glad to be done with it.

February 1, 2007
11:21 pm
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mamacinnamon
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(((Bevdee)))

Doesn't that make you just want to spit.

Families can be such a pain and they suck you into their dysfunction the best way they know how.

My mom and sister... same thing. My sister says "I don't want mom going w/ me". Mom says "I don't want to go w/ your sister". Now wouldn't that be easy to deal w/ since hey ultimately want the same thing? I finally came to the point i told them IF they were not gonna stand on what they said to let me out of it. I thought it... ummm... stupid to begin w/.

Good for you for standing up for yourself.

February 1, 2007
11:23 pm
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bevdee
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Yes it is way past uncomfortable being put in the middle AND trying to please everyone.

I am going to try to avoid this from now on.

February 1, 2007
11:27 pm
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I wish you strength. You hold your head high and say "sorry, not me, not today".

February 1, 2007
11:30 pm
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bevdee
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This HP - this was an excuse I told myself in getting stuck before. I am going to think on this even more.

I just don't want to clutter up the discussion with my views. There are plenty of other threads for that.

Did you get snow, Miss MamaC?

February 1, 2007
11:33 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Oh yes we did. Still have the ice from before and then more ice, then more snow, and just got a fresh inch or so last night. I cannot remember when we have had such a white winter it's been so long. I love snow.

I did a picture for my dad and he stopped by to pick it up tonight. My shoes were all wet from the snow before so I just slid on out in my sock feet. Not far and I kept warm.

Do you live where there is snow? I'm in Missouri

February 1, 2007
11:34 pm
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bevdee
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I am in Texas. I grew up in SW MO. In the big town. My parents are still there.

February 1, 2007
11:36 pm
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Oh, I am in a small town of just over 1,000. We actually made it over the 1,000 mark. lol. I grew up here and it's a first. We always said the town is one mile long and half a mile wide. i think that is pretty accurate. But we do sit on two states and three counties.

Oh my, w/ a town as messed up as this no wonder everyone is dysfunctional. (j/k)

I am sorry to say I have not had the pleasure of Texas in many years. My brother lived there a few years and liked it.

We are taking my youngest to see the ocean this next year for her birthday. Been saving for a long time. Hubby wants to take her to Texas to the Gulf. i told him it IS NOT the ocean in a child's eyes. May be the same water, but not the same name.

🙂

February 1, 2007
11:41 pm
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bevdee
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Corpus Christi!! Or Galveston!! I love Galveston. Your girl needs to look out and know that Europe is at the end of the water.

I guess the discussion has petered out. I need to get to bed - I am back on days tomorrow.

Have a nice night sweetie.

February 1, 2007
11:42 pm
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Good night hon. Have a good day tomorrow.

February 2, 2007
12:10 am
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Sorry I missed tonights study, I'll catch up read and comment. Thanks everyone for showing up...

February 2, 2007
12:25 am
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Hey Armyangel.. I'm still around if you'd like to talk. If not then that's ok too.

February 2, 2007
12:28 am
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I'm having a problem understanding something about detachment.

If we detach mentally, emotionally, from a problem or person. Know we can't solve the problem. Isn't this like being shelfish...Almost like not caring.

Isn't detachment like the silent treatment? I don't think I can do that.

How can a person develop faith in themself and other people? Isn't faith like trust? Been burned so I'm scared to be burned again?

mj - "Detaching with love was a behavior I assumed would never be part of my recovery, even though I knew my resentment over having an alcoholic parent was destroying me. In spite of the negative effects of my bitterness, I couldn't imagine living without it. Without resentments, who would I be?"

Did you write this or is this from an article? How does one begin to realize the anger/hurt bitterness, especially when someone like me has sooo many layers. and probably layers I haven't even discovered, if I just realized all this within the last 2-3 months?

Oh, got this lump in my throat again...but can't let go yet...

February 2, 2007
12:36 am
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mamacinnamon
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Army:

Maybe in a way detachment is selfish. It is saying that I cannot fix you. it is saying that I will no longer make myself responsible for your problems. it is kinda like tough love in a way. What it does is make the person accountable for their own actions. Does that mean you don't love them? NO. Does that mean you are abandoning them? NO. it simply means you are not gonna try to fix the problem, intervene, or take the blame for someone else's actions. Make sense?

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