The most effective form of detachment I have found has been forgiveness. Instead of thinking of it as an eraser to wipe another’s slate clean or a gavel that I pound to pronounce someone “not guilty,” I think of forgiveness as scissors. I use it to cut the strings of resentment that bind me to a problem or a past hurt. By releasing resentment, I set myself free.
When I am consumed with negativity over another person’s behavior, Ihave lost my focus. I don’t have to tolerate what I consider unacceptable, but wallowing in negativity will not change the situation. If there is action to take I am free to take it. Where I am powerless to change the situation, I will turn it over to God (or whatever higher force you believe in). By truly letting go, I detach and forgive.
When my thoughts are full of bitterness, fear, self-pity, and dreams of revenge, there is no room for love or for the quiet voice of God within me. With God’s help I am willing to admit that resentments hold me back, and then I can let them go. A part of me wants to cling to old resentments, but I know that the more I forgive, the better my life works. Every time I try to tighten the noose of resentment around someone’s neck, I am really only choking myself. Today I will practice forgiveness instead.