Loving Detachment

Obsession with the actions of others — wishing he or she would change, wanting more attention or perhaps less, wishing our significant others would let us decide their fate — is so exhausting. When we are caught up in the cycle of obsession, we are seldom even aware of how we are letting our own lives slip away. But slip away they will. Learning how to let go of others and their lives takes willingness, a tremendous commitment to staying the course, and constant practice. If we don’t keep this as a goal for our lives, we will miss the opportunities God is sending us for our own unique growth. We can only do justice to one life; ours.

Being detached from someone does not mean no longer caring for them. It does not mean pretending they no longer exist. It does not mean avoiding all contact with them. Being detached simply means not letting their behavior determine our feelings. It means not letting their behavior determine how we act, how we think, how we pray. Detachment is a loving act for all concerned. No one wants to be the constant center of someone else’s life, at least not for long. Two people lose their lives when either one is constantly focused on the other. That’s not why we are here.

— Karen Casey, Let Go Now, p. 21

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