You’ll See It When You Believe It. Man’s mind, stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original dimension. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
Here he stretches just a little for your practice today …
All human relationships can be happier from a position of detachment This means loving people enough to allow them to make their own choices without any flak from you, even though those choices may not be consistent with what you think they ought to be doing. It means having enough confidence in yourself not to be threatened when others fail to live up to your expectations. In lover/spouse relationships it means loving the other so much that you forget about your own needs and simply accept and love the other for what he or she is, which is, after all, what you fell in love with in the first place. In family relationships it means being detached enough to allow your relatives to be what they choose to be, and feeling secure enough within yourself not to judge yourself based upon what others decide to do in their own lives. It means forgetting about any evaluation that you might make and instead listening and loving the other family members for what they are, offering advice when asked, and otherwise sending them unconditional love. In. your parenting relationships it means constantly reminding yourself that your children are on their own paths and they are not going to live their lives the way you decide they should. It means guiding them, helping them to become self-reliant, and always letting them know that you unconditionally love them, even when they behave in ways that, are self-defeating.
Detachment in human relationships does not mean an absence of caring. It means caring so much that you suspend your own value judgments about others and relate to them from a position of love rather than attempting to control or judge them. The person who is detached in this sense is one who will avoid all the unnecessary suffering that most people experience in their relationships. You send love, decline a victim role, and exhibit an infinite supply of caring for yourself and your loved ones. And you are detached metaphysically. Your detachment allows you to have the “un” in unconditional love.
Attachment carries with it a subtle implication that somehow you must
please me in order to be loved by me. When you learn to let your loved ones
be and love them for who they choose to be regardless of your opinion about
what they choose, you are detached. Once you reach this state of detachment,
you will not want or need to own or control another human being, especially
those who are in close relationship with you. Paradoxically, the less you
attempt to own and control someone, the closer you become.
Detachment actually encourages you to grow closer in your relationships and to intensify your love. You reduce the likelihood of suffering in your relationships because you have so much unconditional love for others that your love is going to show even if they choose to leave you. In learning to become less attached you also learn a fundamental truth about loving relationships. Love is for giving, not for taking!
This is the true essence of detachment in all human relationships.