The Law of Detachment might sound like the latest fashionable method of changing your life for the better, but it’s actually centuries old.
With most things in life, you have a choice: attach to them or detach from them. And while you may think that attachment is the right choice in some circumstances, detachment is actually your best bet almost all of the time.
But what is the Law of Detachment? And how do you use it? Because let’s face it, if your old way of getting things done was working, you wouldn’t be looking for an alternative.
So let’s take a deep dive to learn what it all means for you and your life.
What is the Law of Detachment?
Simply put, the Law of Detachment involves giving up your need to control situations, outcomes, and even other people. You embrace uncertainty as a part of life and view it as your path to freedom.
It is a practice found in several different religions, like Jainism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
With the Law of Detachment, you’re free from the need for things to be a certain way. You trust that the universe or a higher power will give you what you wish for at the right time and in the right way.
When you embrace the Law of Detachment, you come to understand that you can’t control anything, and this helps you to let go of the need to control everything.
The only thing you can really control, to a reasonable degree, is yourself and your reactions. And for some of us, we find it hard to control even that.
The Law of Detachment allows you to stop fighting. You stop fighting for things to come to you in a certain way. This law releases you to stop worrying about the outcome of situations and trust that things will come to you at the right time. No longer do you try to make things happen; you relax and allow everything to sort itself out.
Does that mean you stop having goals or working toward something? No, it means that while you work towards a particular goal, you are open to new opportunities and options because you don’t know exactly how your wish might come. You just trust that it will.
Now, for many people, security comes from being in control. We need to know what is going to happen, when it’s going to happen, and how. Change throws us off, and it’s hard to handle. With all the chaos that is going on in the world, it’s taking all our energy not to have a mental breakdown. Too many things that we didn’t plan for are happening and we’re struggling to keep up.
So, the thought of dumping our security blanket (i.e. control) in a world that is already in turmoil seems like an idiotic idea. Instead, we convince ourselves that we need more rules and regulations until things go back to “normal.” We think that embracing upheaval will just allow everything to further descend into disaster.
The concept of the Law of Detachment will be a hard concept to accept, not only for people who know they have a problem letting go of control but also for those who think they don’t. That’s because this law reveals our overt and covert needs to exert control over situations and other people.
The Law of Detachment + The Law of Attraction
If you’re not familiar with the Law of Attraction, it is simply the belief that positive thoughts and feelings bring positive results into your life while negative thoughts and feelings attract more of the same.
For example, if you constantly think about how horrible your life is and focus on the things you don’t have, you’ll manifest situations that support this. Pretty much like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The Law of Attraction is very similar to teachings of faith in many religions, but with no religious connection to any particular belief. It teaches that for you to get what you desire, you must set an intention. That is, ask the universe, or God, for something and believe that you not only deserve it but will get it.
You cannot have any doubt or negative feelings towards your intention because that will drive your intention away. When you do this, the universe or a higher power, will put things in place and work to manifest your intention or desire.
When you practice the Law of Detachment with the Law of Attraction, you detach from the outcome. You make your request and align your mindset to believe that you deserve and will get your desire. Then you detach and trust that your desire will come to you at the right time and in the right way. You turn over your intention to the universe/higher power to figure out how to manifest it at the right time and manner.
Detachment from your desire opens you up to more possibilities. It stops you from blocking the manifestation of your desire because it’s not coming the way you expect it to.
The Law of Detachment + Relationships
The Law of Detachment is actually at the core of what true love is all about.
When you apply the Law of Detachment to your relationships, it means loving someone without attempting to coerce or manipulate them into changing into who you think they should be.
It means caring about them enough to allow them to learn from their mistakes and grow in whatever way best suits them.
This allows for a more genuine connection and understanding in our relationships because we accept people for who they really are.
People who are used to being in codependent relationships will struggle with this concept because when attached to other people, whether in a platonic or romantic relationship, they derive their identity from that other person.
The nature of their relationship and/or relationship status affects their mental or emotional state. In order to feel good about themselves, they need their partners to look or act in a certain way.
Codependency often leads people to tolerate abusive behavior or mistreatment. Or they choose to stay in relationships where they don’t love or admire the person they’re with because they are afraid of being single.
Instead of approaching their relationship from a place of love and openness, they are needy and cling to their partner. They are the type of people who will view an unanswered phone call or unread text message as a snub or a negative reflection on the relationship when there could be several legitimate reasons for it.
When we love someone, we should see and accept them as they are. We should allow them to be themselves without expectations concerning the relationship.
If you’re on a first date, for example, you’re getting to know the person without expecting them to be the “one.” That’s too much pressure to put on a person or a single date.
And any time you engage with other people, you excuse yourself from unproductive or hurtful arguments. You feel free to express your own opinions and feelings.
Detached love means letting go. When we apply the Law of Detachment to our relationship, we take responsibility only for ourselves and allow our partners to do the same. After all, no adult likes to be treated like a child.
So instead of assuming you know better than the other person, take a step back. Focus on what you can control and what is your responsibility – yourself.
Below are some practical examples of detached love:
- Avoid giving unsolicited advice – let people ask you for your opinion.
- Set boundaries – let people know how to treat you.
- Allow people to suffer the natural consequence of their actions – don’t sweep in to save them. It is not your responsibility to fix or solve their problems.
- Recognize that your feelings and needs are valid too.
- Love yourself first – address all of your insecurities and learn to love and accept yourself.
- Don’t make excuses for someone else’s behavior – they are a grown-up. They know what they are doing.
- Don’t worry about what other people are doing.
- Don’t do things other people can reasonably do for themselves.
The Law of Detachment helps you to have better relationships with people because your focus is not on controlling their behavior or interfering in their life.
This will inevitably give you more time to work on yourself and improve your own mental and emotional well-being.
It also lets people feel free and authentic when they are with you. Have you ever been around someone who you know accepts you just as you are, without all the fluff or pretense? It’s like a weight off your shoulders. You know they like you for you, and not who you are pretending to be. When you can apply this law to your relationships, that’s the kind of peace others will feel when they are around you.
The Law of Detachment + Goal Setting
You may wonder, if the Law of Detachment means releasing the attachment to our desires, does that mean we should not set any goals or strive towards achieving something?
If we don’t care about the outcome, then what’s the point of wanting something at all?
The Law of Detachment is not about giving up on having hopes, desires, or wants. Rather, it’s about giving up control of how your hopes, desires, or wants manifest.
Usually, when we set our intentions, we’re pretty specific about how it should come and when. This not only severely limits the creativity of the universe/higher power to bring to pass our desires, it also causes us to miss out when something better comes along or when our desire doesn’t look exactly like we thought it would.
Perhaps you are single and have a very specific idea about the type of person you want to fall in love with and settle down with. They must look a certain way, have a particular type of personality, reach a certain educational level, and so on.
But there is a friend that you’ve never considered because they don’t fit the profile you have in your head. If you could let go of your perception of your ideal partner, you might see that the person you have been searching for has been with you all along.
That’s what this law is all about. It means giving up your attachment to the outcome, to how you think your desire will/should come. Because by detaching from your desires, you open yourself up to multiple opportunities and options.
We do not know how our wishes or desires will come or manifest. All we can do is focus on the steps we need to take to prepare for opportunities that will come our way and make sure we’re open to all possibilities for our intention to manifest.
If your goal is to change careers and transition into the tech industry, for example, your focus should be on taking the necessary training or courses, updating your CV/resume, and letting your network know of your switch.
Once done, apply for any job or opportunity you qualify for. Don’t limit the manifestation of the career change to a particular job with a specific company. Your opportunity may come from a connection you never would have expected.
This also means you should strive to treat everyone you come in contact with well because you never know who will be instrumental in your life.
So your hope is not hinged on a particular option or path or person. Your focus is to make sure you are prepared for when an opportunity comes your way.
How To Use The Law of Detachment: 4 Key Tips
Embracing uncertainty and giving up our tight hold on control will not be simple concepts to grasp or master. To do so means going against what we’ve been taught and conditioned to do all our lives.
With our relationships, it may even seem like we’re abandoning the other person to crash and burn under the weight of their bad decisions. However, in the long run, it will mean less anxiety and stress for us if we are able to master it.
If you are ready to trust the universe to give you something a lot better than what you have imagined, try the following rules to practice the Law of Detachment:
1. Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are.
You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. It’s difficult enough to change ourselves, much less someone who doesn’t feel like they need to change.
Not only is it a herculean task, but it is also pretty manipulative and controlling to try to change someone into what you feel they should be, against their will.
Imagine being around someone who has the attitude of “I know better than you do. I know what you should do, and you’re a fool if you don’t do what I say.”
Even if the person is not saying this directly, they likely communicate this sentiment through their actions. The natural response would be to rebel against whatever it is they’re telling you to do, even if deep inside you agree with what they’re saying.
Though letting a loved one make unhealthy choices, what we perceive to be “wrong” decisions, or do things we don’t agree with, is tough to do, it must be done.
The bottom line is that adults have the right to make their own mistakers. We need to release our tight control on our relationships and take responsibility for only ourselves.
Detaching helps you to stay focused on what it is you can control (that is yourself), your responsibility, and not interfere with other people’s choices. It means being responsible for your own welfare and making decisions without an ulterior motive to control others. This law helps you to stop being responsible for others.
2. Don’t force solutions.
Instead of assuming that we know exactly how to solve our problems, allow solutions to emerge spontaneously. Don’t force solutions on to problems. Take a deep breath and trust that the answer will eventually come.
So often, we’re caught up in trying to force everything into the way we think it should be that we miss the simple answers to our problems that are right in front of us.
By forcing our solutions onto problems, we create more obstacles, delays, and even drama.
Kind of like a couple that decides to have another baby to “fix” the problems in their relationship. Rarely, does that ever work, and now an innocent child has been brought into a fractured relationship.
We must trust that life will give us what we need for our highest good. What we need to understand is that things eventually work out without our intervention, even if it initially looks like we’re suffering the end or loss of something.
3. Accept Uncertainty as an essential ingredient.
According to Deepak Chopra, “security and certainty are a result of rigid attachment to the known, however, the known is nothing other than the prison of past conditioning…Uncertainty, on the other hand, is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom.”
We’re attached to security and certainty because it’s what we know. But because our experience is very limited, in the grand scheme of things, security and certainty imprison us in our past.
In embracing uncertainty, we open ourselves up to creativity and freedom. We see solutions spontaneously spring out of confusion, disorder, and chaos.
Uncertainty does not let our past limit us. Instead, it opens us up to new experiences that bring unique opportunities and fresh options. Ultimately, uncertainty is our path to freedom.
Whether or not we willingly choose to accept it, uncertainty is a normal part of life. Fighting against it will only wear us out emotionally, physically, and mentally.
4. Remain open to the field of infinite possibilities.
There is more than one way to get from point A to point B. In fact, there are more ways to get to the destination that you know or are aware of.
If you have a little faith in the universe/higher power, you’ll experience all the fun, magic, adventure, and mystery of life along the way.
But you need to understand that you don’t have all the answers available for your situation. To practice the law of detachment, you need to realize that you are severely limited by your experience. You need to let go of your idea of what the solution looks like.
By being open and letting go of your perception of the solution, you are less likely to miss it if it comes in a package you weren’t expecting.
3 Major Benefits Of The Law of Detachment
While a challenging concept to master, the Law of Detachment has a slew of benefits for those who are able to do so. Some of these benefits include:
1. Reduced anxiety.
When you are not worried about other people, allowing them to face the natural consequences of their actions, and not stepping in to fix their problems, you have less stress and anxiety.
Too many of us rush in to save adults from problems of their own making. This keeps them dependent on us to continue saving them.
Eventually, we get worn out, tired, and resentful because, though we want to help, this type of behavior usually leads to entitlement, manipulation, and control.
We spend time and energy disturbed and concerned about people who aren’t as bothered about themselves as we are. By practicing the Law of Detachment, we release ourselves from the burden of being responsible for other people.
Eventually, they’ll figure their lives out. And if they don’t, they’ll be fine. It’s not our problem to worry about. By accepting this, our blood pressure and anxiety will naturally reduce and our energy and time will increase.
The Law of Detachment also helps to ease anxiety by virtue of eliminating all “what if” thoughts that circle around your head. What if something bad happens? Well, it might, but by the same logic, something good might also happen. Why spend your time worrying which of these two outcomes is more likely?
Yes, act in ways that are sensible and do not invite chaos into your life. But at the same time, don’t work yourself up into a state of constant tension just because there is a chance something unpleasant or uncomfortable might occur.
2. Accept yourself for who you are.
While the Law of Detachment teaches that we should accept people as they are, it also calls for us to accept ourselves as we are.
When we aren’t engaged in forcing our will on other people, we have the time and energy to focus on ourselves and our self-improvement.
By focusing on our personal development, we also prioritize self-care. This helps us develop into our best selves. As we grow and get to know our authentic selves, our self-confidence improves.
Eventually, this leads to more authentic relationships where both parties are free to remove their personas and be accepted for who and what they are.
3. Better communication skills.
Because we accept people for who they are, we don’t use manipulation tactics to change them into who we want them to be. As a result, we are faced with two decisions:
- Leave the relationship because who they are is not fundamentally compatible with who we are.
- Communicate our relationship needs to them, giving them the chance to adapt to our needs or not.
For example, perhaps one of your needs is frequent communication, but you are in a relationship with someone who is not meeting that need. Your responsibility is to communicate your need to them and not prescribe or force a communication style or frequency.
They can then decide to adjust to meet your need for more communication. However, if they choose not to, it is then up to you to decide whether their method and frequency of communication suit you. Giving them an ultimatum or threatening to break up with them if they don’t change is control and not love.
The Law of Detachment propels you to focus on your needs and wants because, in a relationship, the only person you can change or control is yourself. It pushes you to improve your ability to communicate your needs and wants because they are valid.
It seems pretty obvious that the new “normal” for us is being in a constant state of change and upheaval. Just when you think you’ve adjusted to the latest calamity, another one comes along, almost as if the world keeps trying to outdo itself with each new catastrophe. If you don’t learn how to detach, you will be in a constant state of anxiety, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
With the Law of Detachment, we embrace the mindset that no matter what happens in life, everything will be for our good. We can’t control situations or other people. We can only trust that the universe/higher power knows what it’s doing.
Not knowing what to expect is a frightening thought. Adjusting to a constant state of uncertainty is very disconcerting because security is familiar, it feels safe. But it’s also limited to our experiences.
In order to experience true freedom, we must accept uncertainty as a part of life. We must learn to cope amid chaos. We must learn to practice the Law of Detachment.
You may also like:
- How To Let Go Of Control: 8 No Nonsense Tips!
- How To Accept What Is (Without Surrendering Your Power): 10 Tips
- What Is Locus Of Control? And Is Internal Or External Better?
- How To Accept Others For Who They Are (Rather Than Who You Want Them To Be)
- 7 Steps You Absolutely MUST Take Whenever You Ask The Universe For Something
- How To Overcome Your Fear Of The Unknown: 5 Critical Steps
- The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Real “Secret” Behind The Law Of Attraction?