So this article has come about because of request from a dear friend, who is very much part of this platform as well. He was not clear or maybe had a very confused view of the word ‘detachment’ and it struck me that while the concept of detachment is fairly simple but to implement it might not be easy for everyone and hence this article.

So I’m trying to come up with the layman’s definition of detachment, i.e.  what does detachment mean for the common man. 

In Simple terms- Detachment does not mean no-attachment. Detachment means not letting the attachment get the better of you. Not letting the attachment drag you away from yourself. Not being so much ‘into’ the attachment, that you curb your natural instincts and become unreasonable with yourself.

Let’s look at a few examples detachment: 

  • For an ice cream fan, it’ is not giving in to the temptation or craving of having an ice cream in the middle of the night.
  • For a non vegetarian it is to find the same pleasure in “ghaas phons”  as they do in butter chicken Curry.
  • For a runner it is not to get enamoured by the spate of running events in the city and find joy in a solitary run on the highway in blistering heat.
  • For a sports car owner it is to be equally comfortable travelling in a public bus if the situation demands.
  • For the Shah rukh Khan fan it is to be OK to not see his latest movie for the first two three months and still enjoy it when they eventually see it.

Detachment is be in control of your senses at any point of time. As is obvious from the meaning,  it’s not easy for one to attain the state of detachment and that’s the reason very few people succeed at it and most of the people just keep desiring for it it. Don’t let something that you are attached to, become your weakness and let it remain your strength, your source of power, inspiration and courage. 

In our day to day life detachment (or lack of it) can have different implications on different people.

However the biggest example of detachment which I have not touched upon so far is detachment from people – detachment from relationships and invariably the most difficult detachment is from people who are the most dearest and nearest to you.

Our own child, our spouse, our parents and our siblings in that order. The reason it is far more difficult for detachment from our child versus our parent is because of the ownership element where we feel a sense  of obligation to care for our child till our last breath. It is like we made some sort of a pact  with God that our offspring is our and our responsibility alone and we have to shower them with infinite love and affection and provide all the care possible. Hence it becomes extremely painful when the child does not reciprocate our feeling or sentiments and we start questioning our love and doubting our efforts or we start questioning God and presume that maybe there are some shortcomings at our end. Subsequently, we make even more concerted effort, which, instead of bringing us close to your child,  in fact, takes us further away from them.

In true essence the need for detachment is for us to live up to our own expectations; to live up to our dreams and desires which  get downplayed in the broader scheme of things as one gets busy in life. We start prioritising our spouse our child our boss our parents our life our career – everything proceeds ourselves –  which is of course right to start with, but wrong in the long run. Because if we take care about everyone else who’s gonna take care about us? 

We typically think that if I take care of someone or if I do something for someone, that someone will do something for me in return which means that we are setting expectations in a relationship and expectations are the biggest source of problem and expectation from someone whom we are attached to is the most futile form of expectation. We are loving someone for our own selfish reason but to the world we show as we are helping the other person.

The sooner we realise that we are loving for our own sake, the easier life will become. A bond of relationship has to be natural and not forced- the feeling has to evolve and not be planted.

So thats my take on detachment. I don’t want it to be a serious topic! To be to be true to myself with the word detachment,  I decided to detach myself from any external support for this article.  I wrote something straight from the heart, something which just came to my mind.  I did not browse any websites, I did not read any books, I decided not to include any fancy quotes because I wanted to see if I can detach myself from all support elements which I typically look out for when I’m composing an article will it turnout to be just as good !! And now I leave it to you my friend, the reader to make your own judgement and let me know whether this article serves its purpose or there is lot of room for improvement!! Thank you.

Pic Credit: My friend in Srinagar shared this pic from the Heaven on Earth.