The Difference Between Detachment and Non-Attachment

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What’s the difference between detachment and non-attachment? There is a HUGE difference. People use the words interchangeably and they have very different meanings. Knowing the difference can redirect your attention and behavior and shift your perspective into powerful realms of expansion.

Detachment often refers to conscious or unconscious disconnection, separation, disassociation or checking out. Detachment comes with a complete lack of interest in the world around you. You react by distancing yourself through these contractive motivations. That usually occurs through negativity or trauma (fear, anger, or guilt or shame). For instance, if you refer to a person who is emotional detached, it is not an expansive description it is often a product of trauma, abuse or a previous difficult encounter that has formed a pattern of avoidance or fear of conflict. This is a common tactic of the Lost Child (Wounded Inner Child)

Non-attachment on the other hand is a practice of mindfulness, presence and being present in the moment. But you are not identifying or attached to a specific outcome. There is flexibility and flow. You are not ruled by the situation, emotion or pattern. It is responsive. Non-attachment literally means “no attachment.” With no attachment, there are no expectations. When you are not ruled by expectations there can be no disappointment. You accept things as they are and respond accordingly.

“When you recognize that all things change,
you realize there is nothing to try to hold onto.”
Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)

Here are some powerful expressions of non-attachment:

Allow circumstances to be what they are – No matter how much you want something to change, it may not make a difference. If you can be non-attached to what is happening, you can shift your relationship to a more expansive response rather than reaction. When you let go, often natural solutions will emerge.

Allowing others to be who they are – Wanting people to be different does not change who they are. And it does not help you to respond to who they are. When you allow people to be themselves, it is easier to navigate your relationship with them and find a way to respond. But accepting them it does not mean you agree, condone or enable their behavior – it just means you will respond with more awareness because you don’t need them to be something else in order for you to be OK.

Allowing yourself to be who you are – This can be more difficult than we often realize. It takes compassion and self-honoring. So many people are in total self-judgment and constantly battling with who they are who they think they should be – they loathe the so called ugly or embarrassing parts of themselves. Remember that to truly change anything, you first have to accept it. By embracing all parts, you give yourself a chance to change.

Uncertainty is a natural part of reality – Accept it. The sooner you embrace uncertainly, the more flexible you will be in relation to everything around you. Certainty is always static and is often the root cause of rigidity. The only constant in the Universe is change. When you leave room for uncertainty you allow yourself to let go and be in flow with the universe.

Non-attachment is a powerful emotional, mental, psychological and spiritual state of being. It requires conscious awareness. It begins with a choice as you master the skill. The Available Adult (Mature Inner Adult) lives in a state of non-attached neutrality but is still profoundly connected to everything without being ruled or defined by it. Ultimately, conscious non-attachment facilitates expansive feelings of freedom and allows you to respond to the world around you with ease, grace and flow.

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As a Holistic Life, Business and Relationship Coach, Markus has accumulated over 40,000 hours of coaching celebrities, entrepreneurs, businesses, couples and individuals for over 20 years and has created the groundbreaking IRAM: A Map for Creating Conscious Relationships.He facilitates events worldwide and is a regularly featured expert guest and speaker on podcasts and summits. Using an integrated approach of life coaching, psychology, mindset, alternative modalities and meditation practices, he has changed the lives of thousands by teaching how to transform all your relationships from the inside out.

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