Monday, July 8, 2013

Detachment & Inner Bonding

You must detach from anything in your life that you cannot control. You must detach from anything in your life that is not contributing to your highest good. This is loving yourself. ~ J. Ryan

I have come to a new place in my life. A new place of power, of self love and self efficacy. Not only have I learned the hard way to love myself, but I'm learning to let love in... The real kind of love, not the needy, dependent, love of the false self. It's difficult to discern the difference, but I am learning. Every day I learn more what true love is, of myself and of another.


One of the lessons I've learned is that of DETACHMENT. This has taken a while to grasp. Detaching from externals, those things outside of myself that would control my very existence. I'm learning to detach and let go of things that are outside of me, and replace that outer, external detachment with inner bonding. Detaching outside, Bonding inside.

I had to do this VERY consciously at first. In so many ways, I feel like a manual stick shift sometimes, feeling my way through every gear, grinding terribly, jerking and spitting out smoke. As I persevere and continue to follow the pathway to healing that's unfolding in my heart, I become more adept, and suddenly living and loving me becomes spontaneous, like a natural reflex--automatic.

Detachment. What does this mean? This means to detach from the psychological comforts that used to hold me up. Fantasy, neediness, need for approval, need for external validation, pretending, falling in love with the way things are "supposed" to be. Controlling outcomes, if only in my imagination. I always had my go-to attachments, whether that was a man or a friend, or an addiction of some sort. I had to learn to consciously let go of external attachments. In order to love myself, I had to learn to attach to me, and to face me, instead of seeking comfort outside of myself.

It started in the places I find comfort, dreaming of love, of bliss, of things just as I wanted them to be... Instead of allowing myself to resort to the fantasy, which would inevitably lead to a great fall and thud with my heart splattered on the ground, I had to be an adult and reign in the strong desire to run into a fantasy of a perfect scenario. I had to become comfortable with the truth. Perhaps the fantasy would never come... Perhaps I would be left with just me. I had to come to the place where just being me was okay, just being me was enough.

So, instead of pretending that things would work--like I always did as a child growing up in an abusive home--I had to face that things may or may not work, and either way it didn't matter because what truly matters is me, and that I stay present with myself. Instead of dreaming, I learned to focus on myself. It was very difficult at first, but oh-so-soothing, once I got used to it.

When I wanted to focus outside, I forced myself gently to focus inside, on me. I took the eyes of my soul and turned them inward. If I was trying to run to a fantasy of perfection, an idealization of control of others opinions of me, I chose to stop and focus on me, my wants and my needs. Each time I did this, I became stronger and stronger. In a very short time, I conditioned my brain to stay with me. Not to run away to some external thing, but to embrace the needs that I had within.

This is very personal, but for your sake, I will share, and because this is one of the most profound exercises I've ever done that brought me to the place I am today...

I would say to myself...
  • What do YOU need right now?
  • What can I do for YOU?
  • How are YOU feeling right now?
  • Why are you so interested in this dream of perfection?
  • What are you hiding from or running from inside YOURSELF?
  • What need are you covering up with this dream state?
  • What can YOU do to feel more complete and whole?
  • Would YOU like to get up and clean your closet, car or home?
  • How can I be a blessing to YOU right now?
  • What can YOU do to better YOUR life today?
I found that when we think we need something outside ourselves, the truth is, nothing can ever fill the need. The need is inside and can only be filled by our own attention and affection focused on self. When you feel the pull of your heart toward fantasy and control and an idealized that may or may not become reality, I've found that it is actually a need, but that it cannot be filled externally.

It's like we learned to abandon ourselves early-on. Our brains are conditioned to dump our own hearts in the dumpster as we run after another to stop the pain and soothe the ache. Well, I found that it is only when we meet our own need will we be of any value to anyone else. It is only by meeting our own needs, by being present for our own selves, by letting go of externals, and by embracing internals, that we can function the way we're supposed to function in life. It's hard work!

It gets easier. I've learned to ask myself several times a day, "What do you need?" I've also learned to take care of myself. Little things, like food, water, rest, companionship, prayer, exercise... These things DO MATTER. Every little detail about YOU matters. That's what people who truly love know, that's the secret to truly loving. You must listen and attend to your every detail.

If you are attending to your own needs and taking care of your own self, you will become so busy that you will no longer have time for external attachments. It's not that you don't bond. It's just that through walking out this process, you learn to gracefully bond and let go without feeling as though you might fall into a pit of despair.

Your life is supposed to be about YOU meeting your own needs, about you finding creative ways to get the job of meeting your needs done through trial and error. You must not only listen to your own heart, but also take the risk of asking, requesting and sometimes demanding. Sometimes you won't get what you need, but that's okay. When you truly love yourself, you will no longer take it personally.

Focus on you.
You are the precious one you're searching for.
Everything you want, everything you hope for
is found within you.
Let go of the outside distractions,
go inward and focus on yourself.
This is loving! This is loving!
Loving is not approval, loving is attention.
You must start with embracing you.

Detachment. A powerful tool I use every day with greater ease.

Lord bless you on your journey.


  1. Why do we so desperately and almost automatically look for the love we never received from others?

  2. Dear Psych_Student,

    Thank you for your question...

    Because needs MUST BE MET. If needs go unmet, you will continue to pine for said fulfillment for your lifetime. People medicate, drink, do anything to drown the need, when what should really be done is MEET YOUR OWN NEED.

    When you don't receive the love you need, especially childhood development needs, your psyche will loop indefinitely. You also learn to abandon your own needs, your own self, in the same way your caretakers did.

    The key is as follows:

    1. Get to know yourself - You need to know what a need is, what it feels like. Sure, you know you're longing, but did you know that the longing, the pain, the sadness, the hair-trigger anger is tied to a need? Getting to know yourself is fun. Shame covers the original need so getting to who you really are and setting yourself free is like the beautiful unfolding of a flower, no matter your age. I used art, journaling, a lot of books and a little therapy for this one.

    2. Identify original need - This takes hard work, working through shame, anger and repressed emotions. You must be brave for this one!!! Find out what the true reason you're hurting. You've got to connect the original emotion to the original reason (as much as possible). This may require talk therapy, art, journaling, and you have to be ready emotionally.

    3. Grieve the lack of receipt of what you needed - You must take time to grieve your loss. Anytime a need goes unmet, it creates sadness that one MUST GRIEVE if you are to get over it. The good news is--it is a glorious feeling once the grief is done.

    4. Deal with your infant attachment needs - This is the easy part. Find tools and techniques for soothing the infant that still lives inside of you, I did this with tapping exercises and roll playing, this part went by extremely quickly. The needs you can meet here include infant attachment needs which are the ones that hurt the most when you're an adult.

    5. Start meeting your own needs - Stay aware of your own needs. All of them that come up on a daily basis. Start reparenting yourself and taking care of your own problems by coming up with solutions. Needs are there to be met. It is your job, as an adult, to do whatever it takes to meet your every need.

    This is what loving yourself is all about!