In this issue, let’s talk about one of the most important factor we must master to live a happier life (or spirituality to others), and that is detachment. If you refer to the Thesaurus, these words will come up: lack of involvement, disinterest, indifference, disconnection, objectivity, separation, et al.
But summing them all up, many would think that indifference is the closest meaning but there is a deeper understanding to detachment than mere intellectual comprehension. The key is living of your life with detachment. The masters know this, so does wise men and the spiritually guided lives this. Unfortunately, the majority don’t. So what is it and how do we live it?
First you have to accept the fact that you do not have control over everything in this physical world, not now, not ever, not the weather, not the events, not people, not your spouse, not your children. In fact you don’t even have control of your body. How is that? You get sick even if you don’t want to.
The only thing you have control over is your free will, and that includes your way of thinking and your emotions. That is the only thing you got in this world. Call it your GIFT, your only GIFT. All the rest you think you own is just borrowed and have to be returned on your last day. The good stuff you’ve amassed will just be divided among whomever once you’re gone and you yourself will go back as raw material, ash or soil.
That’s a fact. And after you have accepted this truth, let’s get to the second part which is how to live life knowing we don’t have control over most of it.
By the way, if you want to know my say on the afterlife, well, that will be on future issues. But I will not discuss much on religion or spiritual beliefs because each one of us has our own and I will always respect that. And besides, it is not our intention to convince or convert anyone here. Our purpose is just to share, inspire and teach.
I once got a chance to talk to a wise man that has been practicing healing with considerably great success for almost two decades and I asked him what the secret for his healing success is. He told me, “I don’t bother myself much about whether my patients get cured or not, what I do mind is that I should always do my best as the instrument for healing.” The principle here is that, if many patients get well, it would get into his head and he’d feel like a rockstar. If on the other hand, if many patients don’t get better, he’d get depressed and probably stop. No wonder he is doing well in life and in healing.
Putting this in the perspective of our own lives, I would say that in everything you do just do your best and the universe will take care of the rest. For example, in doing a report for work or school, just make the best report ever, the results, who cares, don’t even think about them, the well prepared report will take care of itself. Besides, what the worst that could happen if you did the best you could.
Let me share an example I did with my daughter when she was new in college. I knew the temptation of college partying, cutting classes and gallivanting because I’ve been there. I told her, with subject schedule form and money in hand, before paying the tuition fees, “Hey, this is a hefty amount of money for your future. I’m not asking you to get the highest grades nor stop you from having a good time. All I’m asking is, we don’t repeat and pay these subjects again. A passing grade is good enough for me.” She ended up being among the best in class.
After we have armed our children with the tools on how to attack life, we have to leave them by themselves to discover their own path. We will always be there if they need our help. But to constantly worry if they will succeed or not is against detachment.
Detachment is a way of thinking, it’s an attitude. Detachment is not caring what the results would be. Detachment is the absence of worry. Detachment is having a good night’s sleep. Detachment is knowing things will take care of themselves. Detachment is accepting that whatever the results will be, it will still be a great day. Detachment is positive thinking.
“I don’t care if my girlfriend/boyfriend ran off with somebody else; someone better is going to show up.”
“I don’t mind if they took my lunch, that will be good for my diet.”
“So what if I got stood up by my client today. I’ll just go watch a movie with my kids and have a great time.”
“There’s going to be a storm on my birthday, maybe I’m better off buying a new Smartphone than throwing a party.”
Detachment is not caring for the results.
Detachment is the first cousin of Happiness.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a short nugget. Happiness is from giving the best you can, the results are just secondary. Whatever the results may be, that is detachment. This nugget is related to the old saying, “It is the journey, not the destination.”
Have a Simple and Better Life