- Are you quick to get angry?
- Do your moods go up and down often?
- Are you easily affected by what people say or think about you?
- Can an insignificant incident destroy your whole day?
- Do you allow situations and people to affect your moods and behavior?
- Do you lack inner peace?
Imagine how free, relieved and happy you would be, if you could stay calm and poised in the midst of whatever is happening in your life. Think how much physical, emotional and mental energy you could spare, if you were able to avoid becoming upset, angry or moody.
Emotional agitation, anger, and hurt feelings, cause stress and unhappiness, and lead nowhere, except to more pain, suffering and broken relationships. They disturb your mind, disrupt your concentration, and prevent you from focusing on the matters at hand. If you wish to enjoy inner peace, it is imperative that you try to gain at least some degree of detachment.
Too much emotional involvement with matters that do not concern you, or are not important, take too much of your time, energy and health. Excessive emotional involvement agitates your mind and feelings, and prevents you from experiencing inner peace.
Emotional involvement leads to attachment, to fear of letting go, and to avoiding changes. If you wish progress in life, you need at least some degree of emotional detachment, otherwise you let people and events, your thoughts and your past, tie you down.
Detachment is important in daily life, in the pursuit of ambitions and on the spiritual path. It is valuable to everyone, whether pursuing spirituality or material success.
A few examples of detachment:
1) What happens, when somebody says to you something that you don’t like? You will probably become angry, unhappy or feel hurt. Why is this so? Because you value other people’s words and opinions more than you value your own thoughts and opinions of yourself. You let other’s people thoughts, words and actions influence your happiness, actions and reactions. On the other hand, when you possess emotional detachment, you enjoy a state of inner peace and equanimity, unaffected by circumstances, or by other people’s moods and states of mind.
2) You sit down to meditate, but thoughts keep coming into your mind. You get emotionally involved with your thoughts, follow them, and forget about your meditation. If you could display some detachment, it would have been easier to ignore the disturbing thoughts. Detachment would have helped you stay collected and concentrated.
Emotional detachment would not necessarily make your life problems-free. You will still encounter disturbing circumstances and disturbing people, because this is part of life. However, your attitude toward them, your state of mind, and the way you react, would change.
Emotional detachment is a skill you can learn to master, like any other skill, and is essential for every person who wishes to become free from worries, fears and anxiety. It is most useful in many situations, when dealing with family or friends, or at your job. This skill can help you stay focused, and use common sense in the daily affairs of your life.
I am not talking about physical detachment and avoiding people. Detachment, in the sense referred here, is an inner attitude of composure and equanimity, when you don’t take everything too personally, and don’t let other people’s emotions, thoughts or actions affect your judgement.
Imagine how free, calm and happy you would be, if you could stop getting upset by what people say or do, let go of negative thoughts and emotions, and avoid taking things personally.