Friday, January 10, 2014

Notes on Detachment

Lessons on detachment benefit all of our relationships, but they are particularly helpful for health and human service workers where there is a fine line between what we are responsible for and what our clients, patients, or consumers are responsible for.

"Detachment is the ability to care deeply about a situation or another person from an objective point of view.  We are able to care but not be controlled by or invested in how another person responds to us."

"Healthy detachment wears many identities.  Letting others take care of their own affairs and not doing for others what they need to do for themselves is detachment.  Not creating or preventing a crisis when it's clearly not our business to be involved is detachment.  Not manipulating others to carry out some aspect of their lives according to our wishes rather than according to their own plan is detachment.  It is neither kind nor unkind to be detached.  It is simply being in charge of the only things we need to be in charge of."

"...the ability to be independent and compassionate, yet no longer clingy and obsessed with getting constant approval from others."

"...it is about developing a healthy interdependence -- that is, independence that frees all of us to be all we can be, but still allows us to get an appropriate amount of support and encouragement from other travelers."

"Coming to understand and eventually celebrate our powerlessness over people, places, and things is the key to our freedom -- freedom from enmeshment, freedom from the fear of rejection, freedom from the fear of failure, freedom from the fear of success."

"...I could or should be the one to decide exactly who I would bring to the party every day of my life."

"...respecting others' opinions while maintaining our own perspective and integrity."

--Karen Casey

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