Emotionally Detaching for Self-Care

When I first heard the phrase “let it go,” I thought I understood what it meant. I was familiar with the concept of detaching, and I knew how to detach when I needed to. What I didn’t understand was that there are different methods of detaching. The one used most often was certainly not a form of “positive” detachment. I still had a lot to learn.

Detaching with love?

I admit it, “detachment” sounds negative. And how can detaching from someone be “positive“? (Many 12-step programs call it “loving” detachment.) If you’re confused, I can help. So, what is positive (loving) detachment? There are several theories about the different kinds of detachment.

When we emotionally distance ourselves from a situation and its consequences, with the understanding that the other person is entitled to make their own choices and deal with the consequences of those choices, we’re positively detaching. In using positive detachment, we take the focus off the other person and put it back on ourselves. We feel compassion for the other person, but the focus is on us; on our lives, our choices, our thoughts, and our behavior. And we feel at peace about whatever happens next.

What positive detachment is not

Positive detachment isn’t mean or selfish. It’s not an “either/or” experience; it’s not yes, we’re doing it today, and no, we’re not doing it tomorrow. It’s not something that we turn on and off. It isn’t aggressive; rather, it’s compassionate and kind.

Positive detachment is a way of respecting other’s boundaries, and a type of healthy boundary for ourselves. It’s a constant. It’s a way of living and “being.”

Positive detachment means “caring enough about others to allow them to learn from their mistakes.” It also means being responsible for our own welfare and making decisions without ulterior motives or the desire to control others. When we stop trying to control a person or the outcomes connected with their behavior, we’re affirming that the person has the right to make their own choices and mistakes. We step back and allow them the dignity to learn unique life lessons and experience hard-earned personal growth. This frees us, and it frees them too.

First, let’s talk about some different ways of detaching and figure out which one(s) we might already be using.

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Summary
Article Name
Emotionally Detaching for Self-Care
Description
So, what is “loving detachment?” First, allow me tell you what loving detachment is not. Loving detachment isn’t mean or selfish. It’s not an “either/or” experience; it’s not yes, we’re doing it today, and no, we’re not doing it tomorrow. It’s not something that we turn on and off. It isn’t aggressive; rather, it’s compassionate and kind. Loving detachment is a way of respecting other’s boundaries, and a type of healthy boundary for ourselves. It’s a constant. It’s a way of living and “being.” Loving detachment means “caring enough about others to allow them to learn from their mistakes.” It also means being responsible for our own welfare and making decisions “without ulterior motives or the desire to control others.”
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DianeMetcalf.com
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