There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ~ 1John 4:18
To love means to experience fear and pain. They go hand in hand, don’t they? Years ago I took a course in spiritual growth; the curriculum I studied included something about “detachment” – healthy detachment. At the time I did not understand what that meant; in fact I couldn’t fathom any kind of detachment when it came to my loved ones, my husband, parents, and children. To me this idea seemed love-less.
I remember reading how to detach. It said to remove fear and pain from your life (with regards to loved ones) you needed to learn to detach from the outcome, detach from them in a sense. I could not understand that, to me this seemed an impossible thing to do! It took me a few years before I began to understand what the course was actually teaching, and yes I have a pattern of learning things, especially of a spiritual nature, it can take a while for something to click. It’s all in the journey!
Do You Trust God?
I think my big AHA moment came when I thought about giving my children’s lives over to God. I had dedicated my children to God when they were little and over the years, even as adults, I continued to let God know that they were in His hands. But I am not sure I meant it, or understood it. One day I thought about it and like a light bulb going off it dawned on me that I had never really given them over to Him, I said it but I didn’t mean it, at least not fully. Because I still had a fear of losing them, I always had that fear. I realized if I had truly given them over to God I would not fear what is happening with them; I would trust in Him. And that goes for all relationships. If I trust God to take care of these people and the relationships (in life and death) then I will no longer fear for them. And it stands to reason a lot of pain would be removed from my life as well.
I had not thought about it before. But once I did think about it I realized I couldn’t get to this place (of no fear- just love) without detachment. That is when I revisited the detachment theory.
Respect For Free Will
It took me a long time to be able to understand how much love it takes to get to a place where I could let go with love, in love. To have a healthy detachment.
I think when I heard the word detachment I thought of a void of love or emotions, but that is not it at all. It is in the greatest love that I am able to detach so that I can allow others to express themselves and live a life of free will…their free will.
Today I understand the detachment concept and I have given my family and all loved ones over to God. I respect their free will. I don’t think I could if I didn’t understand healthy detachment.
Although….having said this, every once in a while it sneaks up on me, my old ways sneak up to create fear and pain, an ache that I can feel deep within, and it scares me. But when you love from a pure place, a place of detachment, then there is no fear. No fear of loss. You understand by living in this very unselfish way, you are allowing all your loved ones to live a life where you have respect for their free will, and you encourage them to live in this way. And to live their best life! So when my old ways sneak up on me, I just remind myself that to be detached in a healthy way is pure love and the best I can offer my loved ones! They get my love, support, and encouragement without all the baggage that can go along with it!
It is truly a great place to be. Getting there takes time, staying there takes time………staying there 100 % may not be a reality for a human being. We as humans will always have our ups and downs. it is in the return to unselfish unconditional love that we find our place and our peace.
***Disclaimer- In my opinion there are many levels of detachment. I think I have been clear what level I am referring to. It is a tool I use in which to allow others to be themselves, to live their lives without my interference (brought on by fear) and still love, unconditionally and fully! I strive to detach from the outcome and from the fear and anger that can be associated with relationships.
A few scriptures from different religions on detachment-
• The Ignatian emphasis of Christian spirituality emphasizes interior freedom. To choose rightly, we should strive to be free of personal preferences, superfluous attachments and preformed opinions. ~ Christianity/Ignatian Spirituality
• One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus is untouched by water. ~Bhagavad Gita
• “The essence of detachment is for man to turn his face towards the courts of the Lord, to enter His Presence, behold His Countenance, and stand as witness before Him.” (Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 155)
• Fame or Self: Which matters more? Self or Wealth: Which is more precious? Gain or Loss: Which is more painful? He who is attached to things will suffer much. He who saves will suffer heavy loss. A contented man is rarely disappointed. He who knows when to stop does not find himself in trouble. He will stay forever safe. ~Taoism