Detachment and the Courage to Do It
Often times we have to experienced horrific, tumultuous pain before we even begin to think about detaching from something or someone. I have learned that we as women, many times have such poor boundaries with others that we easily become enmeshed or dependent and feel that it is our personal responsibility to rescue, fix, or take care of all of the concerns of another person, to the degree that we loose ourselves personally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Because we are emotional creatures, it is easy for women to attach ourselves even if it is a toxic situation.
Emotional Detachment is not easy. It will take courage and strength from God, but in order to do it, you first must know what or whom to detach from. You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. What we must also realize is that it might not be a person that you need to detach from but a place or thing. Have you ever examined what people, places, or things rob you of your personal, physical emotional and spiritual health? If not, this might be a great time to do so. Many relationships that are toxic can be saved by you learning to detach and allow people places and things, the freedom to be themselves.
Detachment is usually looked at as a negative, terrible thing to do to someone, whereas actually you could be doing yourself, the other person and your relationship a big favor. The inability to detach from an emotionally draining situation is what can cause the horrific, tumultuous pain that I mentioned earlier. The ability to allow people to be who they really are and not who you want them to be, can change your life entirely for the better. But it starts with you not the other person. Stop fixing, rescuing and enabling them and start fixing you.
You can begin by identifying the irrational and most of the time limiting beliefs that keeps us from detaching or in a toxic relationship. I often tell the woman that I counsel, that you might not need to leave a relationship but that it’s possible to heal, change and fix what’s going on inside of you, so that what the other person is doing doesn’t affect you negatively anymore. Detaching does not mean that you have to leave, each situation is different but this does not include abuse or situations that are not in God’s will. The whole idea of detaching is to still be physically present without going emotionally crazy.
Ask yourself what humanistic needs do I have that keeps me attached. Is it that you have convinced yourself that without you being there to fix everything, that thing will fall totally apart, or that detaching is mean and cruel? What about detaching make you feel like you are giving away your power, which by the way couldn’t be further from the truth. There is power in detachment ladies. Are maybe you carry guilt feelings that you are somehow failing the person or the relationship if you detach. Perhaps you feel like something terrible will happen and it will be your fault. Believe me, this list goes on and on, this is why each individual has to examine there beliefs for themselves. Address these beliefs and replace them with healthy, Godly, more rational ones and be willing to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place, or thing.
Begin developing good, healthy safe boundaries in all of your relationships. Don’t cross others boundaries and stop allowing them to cross yours. Develop a since of autonomy and independence. You can maintain an emotionally healthy bond and love without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing, or controlling. And if you can’t you need to let go and surrender the relationship to God. There are just some things that it’s going to take God to fix anyway.
Dr. Conte Morgan Terrell, PhD