What is Emotional Detachment and Being Detached

By Remez Sasson

About Detachment and Being Detached

What is emotional detachment?

It is a state of calmness and non-involved with trivial matters, or emotionally exhausting situations.

This is not a state of indifference, and does not mean lack of interest or lack of feeling. People, who are indifferent, do not care about anything, and are usually passive. True detachment is something else. It is an attitude of common sense, open-mindedness and practical behavior.

People, who can posses detachment, accept calmly whatever happens. They accept the good and the bad equally, because their mind is in a state inner balance and peace. If there is something they cannot do or change, it does not disturb their inner peace. If they are convinced of the importance of some action, they will pursue it whole-heartedly, and can ignore distractions easily.

With this kind of attitude, people accept bothe success and failure. If they succeed with what they do, that is fine, and if they don't, they will either try again, or forget the matter and move on to something else.

  • How many times you got emotionally involved with something against your will and better judgment.
  • How many times have you got angry, frustrated or disappointed?
  • How many times have your moods swung high and low?
  • How often do you tell yourself that the next time you will stay cool and calm, and yet, every time you forget what you said?

I believe you agree with me when I say that in all these situations, a certain measure of detachment would have been most useful.

When it comes to personal maters, it is hard to stay emotionally uninvolved. You get involved, and this is quite natural, otherwise, life would have been boring. Involvement makes life ticking and active. However, a certain degree of emotional detachment would do wonders to your life.

This attitude is most useful in your daily life, in the pursuit of ambitions, and of course, on the spiritual path.

Examples of emotional detachment.

  1. When meditating, a lot of thoughts keep coming into your mind, forcing you to pay them attention, and also awakening associated feelings. This causes you to be too involved with your thoughts, follow them, and forget about your meditation and concentration. If you could dispaly an attitude of emotional detachment toward your thoughts, it would have been easier to ignore them.

  2. How do you feel, when somebody says something that you do not like? You would probably become angry, unhappy, or feel hurt. Why is this so? Because you value other's people words and opinions more than you value your own thoughts and opinions. You let other's people thoughts, words and actions influence your happiness, actions and reactions. Your happiness and actions depend on them.

    On the other hand, if you are able to stay detached, you will not be disturbed. You will stay calm. You will even be able to benefit from what they say. You will not waste hours thinking about their words.

  3. When something worries you, you spend hours on thinking about it, instead of investing time in finding a solution. You just get pulled into emotional thinking, worries, and fears.

  4. Have you ever thought, how much time and energy you waste every day, brooding on useless thoughts and feelings, due to lack of detachment? Much of the anger, frustration, unhappiness and disappointments are due to lack of detachment.

One of the ways to develop detachment is throughmeditation. In meditation, you strive to ignore thoughts and feelings. This develops the habit of staying calm and emotionally detached, not only during meditation, but also in everyday life.

If you practice meditation, sooner or later, you will start to experience detachment. You will discover that you stay calm and undisturbed, under circumstances that previously made you anxious, stressed, angry or agitated. You will find that you can handle your daily affairs of life in a calm and relaxed way.

Real emotional detachment is a sign of inner strength, and manifests as the ability to function calmly under all circumstances. With this attitude, fewer things harass or bother you.