Posted in detachment, Inspiration, Lessons, world changes

Resting in the Unknown

December 26, 2016, and we are at a powerful place of transition as a culture, as a species, as a world. 2016 is drawing to a close (THANK GOD!), and a new year, a new age, a new world is dawning.

planetsunrisepixabay

We just don’t yet know what that new world will look like. We can hazard a few guesses – there will be a multitude of changes and many will choose fear in the face of these changes, especially those changes that bring endings and even death.  But in the midst of what some might call “fearful,” there also exists the promise of magnificent and magical things trying to be born into our world.

As change is our greatest fear as human beings (we fear it even more than death), this is a tenuous time, especially as we grasp after the illusion of surety in the face of cataclysmic change. We want to control the journey.  We want to know what is happening, where we are going and our role in all of this.  We want to know how these changes will affect us.  And we want to know all of it NOW!  We are not a patient species.

The thing is, we don’t get to know! We will only know it as it shows up, and even then, we might only get a glimpse.  We will grasp after labels and the illusion of a final decision, only to have it ripped from our clutches.  So, what are we to do in a time of such enormous change?

NOTHING.

Yep, you heard it right. To quote a Course in Miracles, “We need do nothing.”  There is literally nothing we can, should or ought to be doing EXCEPT resting in the unknown as the old life comes to an end and the seeds of new life begin to find their roots.  Our job is to rest. To wait. To simply be.  Allowing the old to pass from our sight and the new to step forth into its place.  Here, we are resting in the unknown.

And BOY will we be UNCOMFORTABLE! We have been conditioned to be afraid when we are not in control.  We grow restless, impatient, anxious, worried.  When these emotions arise, it is even more critical that we DO NOTHING.  Acting out of fear only brings more fear, so don’t!  Sit with the discomfort.  Be with your restlessness, boredom, anxiousness, worry and fear.  Discipline yourself to BE not Do and as you are busy doing nothing, that which is coming into being will have the room, the space, the freedom (from your controlling hands) and the safety to come into the world on its own.  Much in the same way that a baby comes into the world on its own (when a birth is difficult, it is not the baby that is the problem), so too will the new life that is coming into the world through us.

Rest in the unknown and you will be thrilled at what comes forth – all on its own!

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, detachment, Faith, Freedom, Healing, Lessons

Authentic Freedom – Help for When the Bottom Falls Out

About a month ago, I received news that is a COMPLETE game changer. This news changes everything AND puts everything into question.  This news impacts literally EVERY aspect of my life and to say it has caused a mild state of shock would be an understatement.  It is during times like these that Authentic Freedom – the process I created which supports human transformation – comes most in handy and proves its effectiveness.

Each and every one of us has had these kinds of experiences – when the rug is pulled out from beneath us, when the ceiling caves in and when the universe, in one fell swoop, tosses us out of the nest of what we have known into what we cannot yet imagine.

The greatest temptation during these times of freefall is to make plans. Our mind, in search of something to hang on to, out of fear of the unknown, tries to make plans, or tries to become attached to potential and possible outcomes.  As many have learned, when we make plans (or try to make plans), God laughs.  I have witnessed the truth of this many times over in the past month as I have tried to plan my way out of and through this change.  A possibility shows up, a potential, a promise, and I get excited about it, imagining all the possible ways in which this will support myself and my family and then POW, the Universe throws a wrench in the deal and the whole things falls apart.  This is EXACTLY what happened this past Wednesday.  Two universes collided and everything that I had planned and waged my future on completely collapsed.

anxiety2

Understanding the importance of grieving our losses, I have allowed myself time to grieve – to cry the ugliest cry, to tantrum, to rant and rave and wail. I reached out to my most trusted advisors for support and perspective and allowed myself to move through and to feel deep support.  In this, I found my way through the debris to the place where I can be open to what truly needs to manifest, knowing that in every death is the promise of new life.  I just don’t yet know what that new life might be.

I then created time and space away from all that might distract me from what I truly need to be doing at this time: SURRENDER. And in this surrendering, turning to what I know will guide me and support me in ALLOWING what it is that the Universe has in store for me – not a plan of my making, but one that comes directly from God and which is sure to be in my highest good, using my gifts in a way that is both fulfilling for me and in service to the betterment of the world.  And what I know will guide and support me is the very process that I created for others, Authentic Freedom.

In this process, I maintain diligent attention to my spiritual practice and apply the principles of Authentic Freedom for identifying and moving through the fears that might otherwise prevent me from seeing and knowing God’s plan when it shows up. I will then use the process of Authentic Freedom to move me through any fears or inner resistance to God’s plan so that I can step into the freedom that God has in store for me (and for all of us when we are paying attention).

The irony is not lost on me that all of this has occurred in proximity to the Fourth of July – the time we commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the journey that secured our liberty. As we celebrate the Fourth of July, let us be grateful for this external freedom while taking steps to secure the only freedom we will ever truly need – freedom from the inner fears, resistance and unhealed wounds that might otherwise stand in the way of a life of contentment and joy.

Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy available now on Amazon.  Buy it HERE.

AuthenticFreedomcover

 

 

Posted in detachment, End of the World Prophecies, Surrender

Trials and Tribulations

Today’s blog continues the conversation on World Changes…..the end of 2012 and the beginning of a New World. 

 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.”

Mark 13: 24-27

Are We Done Yet?

For many, 2012 has been a year of PURGING, RELEASING, dying to all the things we thought we knew about ourselves and all the things we hoped to achieve in this life.  It has been a year ripe with trials and tribultions.  With every excruciating release, we are left to wonder, “Are we done yet?”  At the risk of initiating the other shoe…..my sense (and the sense of others writing on this topic) is that we are nearing the end….and the approaching end is experienced as a kind of quiet anticipation….quiet because it feels as if there is nothing left to lose…..and anticipation of WE KNOW NOT WHAT….

When there is nothing left to lose

Having shed everything that we have clung to…..thoughts of who we are, who we are supposed to be, the contributions we hoped to offer to the world, the dreams that have propelled us forward, the visions that have provided inspiration, we find that there is nothing else to hang on to.  When there is nothing to hang on to….nothing to plan for….dream about….we have no choice but to BE present to the current moment, to RECEIVE whatever shows up, to ACCEPT what we are given and to SURRENDER to where life is taking us.  When we are without a map, absent itineraries or agendas, we have no choice but to follow where the Universe will lead us and we do so willingly…..or at the very least…..with resignation.  “Fine…..I’ll go where you take me because I have no idea what else to do in this time of VAST EMPTINESS.”  And so we go.

In the Waiting

Or….we wait.  For some, the glimmerings of the New World, their New Life, have begun to present themselves…..but for many, if not most……we wait.  We say yes to what shows up in the moment, and the rest of the time….we wait.  It feels a little like LIMBO (or Purgatory!)….as if we are stranded in a place in between, where much of the old has passed away and the new has not yet revealed itself.  And we BREATHE….paying each bill with our eyes closed hoping the money will be there to cover that expense…..handing our credit cards over to be swiped, trusting the money will someday be there to pay down the debt.  By the skin of our teeth…we wait.  Trusting that all the purging has taken place for a reason and that the reason has just not yet made itself known.  Following the strings and strands of opportunities, believing they are leading us SOMEWHERE  ….but exactly where….we do not yet know.

The Hope and THE CHOICE

While for many 2012 has been a year of excruciating release, it is not a time devoid of hope.  It is this hope that has kept us moving….crawling perhaps…but moving nonetheless.  And the hope is in what the ancients have promised…..that this would be a time of GREAT REBIRTH….a potent time in the evolution of humankind where we have an opportunity to move from duality to ONENESS…..to release our attachment to fear and judgment and to live from a place of LOVE.  And while many will call me a “pie in the sky optimist,” I believe that this is true…..but more importantly….I CHOOSE for this to be true.  Because, at the end of the day….this is exactly what it is about:  CHOICE.  Each and every moment of each and every day we have the opportunity to CHOOSE how we live our lives……do we allow our fears to control us, or search for the love in the midst of our unfolding life?  Whether we adhere to the Mayan prophecies,  subscribe to the AGE of AQUARIUS,  consume the red pill, are awaiting the Rapture…or are just plain ME…….the choice remains.  WE DECIDE if we want to live in the NEW WORLD and create a world from love…..or remain attached to our fears and stranded in their resulting suffering.  And here is the simple way in which it works:

CHOOSE FEAR…..remain in Hell

CHOOSE LOVE…….LIVE in the NEW WORLD (which is created by our very choice!)

I, for one am choosing love.  What is your choice?

Lauri Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in detachment, grief, Lessons, Surrender

Election Results

Made you look!  Today’s blog only has a little bit to do with the results of the presidential election and much more to do with how to maintain peace in the midst of what we might not want.

Obama Wins

As a bleeding-heart, liberal, democrat, I am pleased with the results of yesterday’s presidential election.  At least 40% of the US population and over 50% of the House of Representatives are not, however,  happy with these results.  With the make-up of Democrats vs. Republicans in the House and the Senate, President Obama will once again have his work cut out for him.  Posing an even bigger challenge will be the fact that many of our political leaders are no longer working with the best interests of the collective in mind, but instead work for the special interest groups and lobbyists that pad their pockets and fund their elections.  While Barack Obama has succeeded in winning this race, he might once again face a losing battle in accomplishing anything of meaning or value to the American people as policy change gets thwarted by bi-partisan politics.  Regardless of what may or may not happen in the forty-eight months ahead, today, there are many people who will be disappointed, frustrated and angry over the results of yesterday’s elections and even more who will be frustrated, angry and disappointed over the inability of our current form of government to affect positive change that is truly for the good of the people.  But, as I suggested in my August 12th blog, Elections and a Disturbance in the Force, the results of yesterday’s elections has nothing to bear on our ability to move forward with our lives enjoying peace, contentment, love and joy.

Timely Wisdom

I found confirmation of this truth while enjoying my morning meditation.  As usual, I begin by reading the daily scripture readings, then continue by listening to and sometimes singing sacred chant, ending in silence with maybe a little journaling to round things off.  In the first scripture reading, Paul had this to say to the Philippians:

Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

Philippians 2

These words certainly apply to our response to yesterday’s election results – if we are not happy about the results, let’s not grumble about it, complain, throw stones, cast dispersions…instead….let’s move on and look toward how we can make the best of the situation.  For those happy with the results and who will become later frustrated by that battles that are sure to continue between parties and interest groups, again, let us not grumble, complain, throw stones, cast dispersions…instead….let’s move on and make the best of the situation.

Applying this to our everyday lives

The results of yesterday’s elections and the path ahead are but a drop of water in the pond of challenges that we face in our everyday lives.  What happens in Washington truly has little to bear on the day-to-day struggles that we face – death, job loss, illness, aging, unemployment, underemployment, divorce, heartbreak, children growing up and moving away, business failure, unfulfilling jobs and relationships, injuries, physical, emotional, mental, verbal and sexual abuse, assault, natural disasters, crop failures, etc. etc. etc.  No matter what happens in Washington, we will still face these challenges.  People we love will die.  We will find ourselves in unfulfilling and seemingly meaningless jobs.  We will age and experience illness.  Our businesses will fail.  Our hearts will be broken.  While it is appropriate and important to grieve these losses and disappointments, it is equally important to remember that the end result of healthy grief is ACCEPTANCE. It is in grieving the loss and finding acceptance that we once again know peace.  This peace is what Paul is inviting us to enjoy in the reading above.  Political races are lost. We don’t always get what we want.  We become frustrated when our efforts fall short.  Bad things happen to good people.  And…..in the midst of all of this is the promise of peace. As Paul says, this peace is found not in the grumbling, complaining or questioning, but is instead found in acceptance of what is and in trusting that this too is in the highest good, no matter what it might look like right now.

Lauri Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Being Human, detachment, Spiritual Practices, Surrender

“I Don’t Care” as a Spiritual Practice

Today’s blog explores the invitation to non-attachment and one practice for getting there.

Human = Attachments

Because we are here to be human, we form attachments.  Attachments are a function of the false perception of separation that is inherent in the human condition – separation from Self, from God and from One another.  Attachments are the hooks we place into the things that we strive after – our hopes, desires, dreams, longings, goals, wants, etc.   When we identify a desire, place our hook of want and attention into that desire, then pursue that desire, we have formed an attachment.  While this is a normal part of the human process of doing, attachments can cause us great suffering because sometimes, the things we have formed attachments around will never come to pass and most will not happen in the form or the time in which we had envisioned them.  While suffering is an inherent part of the human experience, we can lighten the load through the practice of non-attachment.  I recently discovered a spiritual practice that can help us to release some of the bothersome attachments we have created in our lives.  I call it the practice of “I don’t care.”

Explaining “I Don’t Care”

Before I explain this practice, I want to mention that the intention of this practice is NOT to make us feel badly.  Neither is it intended to drive us into the pits of despair or the darkness of depression.  The intention of this practice is to help us identify the things around which we have formed an attachment and to provide a tool through which we can begin to release the hooks we have plunged into our desires.  When we can identify the attachments and begin to do the work of freeing them, we open ourselves to other possibilities, other opportunities and an outcome that is perfectly timed and in perfect harmony with who God knows us to be.  Releasing attachments helps us to surrender to God’s plan instead of the plan of the ego that is driven by our desires, longings, wants and our desire to control.

How it Works

1) To begin the process, write down all the things that you have been striving after.  This will differ for each of us, but might look like:

  • notoriety or fame
  • a particular salary
  • certain professional roles/jobs/tasks
  • a new house
  • having a baby
  • finding a loving partnership
  • the ability or desire to travel
  • professional or personal goals, desires, hopes, longings

2) Now, go through each of these desires, goals, etc. and apply the “I don’t care” practice.  It might look like this:

  • I don’t care if I never have a baby of my own
  • I don’t care if I never find fulfillment in my job
  • I don’t care if I never find loving partnership
  • I don’t care if no one ever knows or cares about who I am
  • I don’t care if I don’t get that job
  • I don’t care if I never become famous
  • I don’t care if I never make another penny
  • I don’t care if I never have the house I want
  • I don’t care if I never get to travel the world

3) Recite the “I don’t care” mantra over and over and over around each of the items that you have identified.  As you recite “I don’t care” around that attachment, imagine the attachment being released and that you are letting go of your attachment to this this goal, desire, etc.

4) If you find yourself feeling angry, tearful or afraid around the release of a specific attachment, CONGRATULATIONS, you have just identified the one that has the greatest level of attachment around it and the one most in need of release.  Be angry.  Cry.  Quake. AND keep reciting “I don’t care” until you have raged, cried, shaken yourself out.  THEN BREATHE.

5) NOW……and this is very important!  Do something very kind to and for yourself.  Take a restorative bath.  Listen to some soothing music.  Pour yourself a soothing cup of tea.  You have just accomplished a very difficult spiritual practice and it is important to soothe the part of you that might now feel a little (or a lot) vulnerable.  And….know that you have freed yourself from the limitations of your hidden fears so that you can step more fully into the freedom that God intended and the possibilities and opportunities that you haven’t even begun to dream about. Also know that the “highest good” that God intends for you will happen gracefully and effortlessly without your need to pursue or control it.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in detachment, Inspiration

Learning Detachment

What happens when we try to share our gifts in the world and find that some are unable or unwilling to accept our gifts.  As Jesus said, “shake the dust off your feet and walk away.”  Learning detachment is a critical tool in the journey toward self-fulfillment and peace.

Sharing my Gifts

As I became aware, a few weeks ago, of my life’s purpose – which is to help others remember the love that they are, I began to reflect on how I have used this call throughout my ministry and my life.  With this newfound awareness, I was astonished at how this “call” or “purpose” seemed to be making itself known all the way back to my earliest memories.  I remember seeing the best in people and wanting to help them know this about themselves as well.  Sadly, not all people are able or willing to see this good in themselves and will do everything they can to resist embracing this goodness.  In the past, I used to take this as a form of rejection of myself and my gifts.  Now, I know better.

Detachment

Each and every one of us has a unique purpose and reason for being here and specific gifts we are called to share in the world toward this purpose.  It is through our purpose and through our gifts that the world can become a happier, healthier, more harmonious, loving and peaceful place.  Unfortunately, as you have probably already realized, not everyone is able to receive our gifts.  This is not because our gifts are not of value or because we are not of value.  It is simply a reflection of the other person’s unhealed wounds and the primary wound that remains unhealed is the wound that says they are not worthy or deserving of a vibrant, joyful, peaceful, fulfilling and love-filled life.  I remember very specific examples of this being played out in my own life as I have made my gifts available to others.  The invitation, when we try to share our gifts and the other is unable to receive them, is to practice the art of detachment.  Detachment is the art of being able to freely, generously and openly share our gifts without any attachment to the outcome.  Detachment allows us to share our gifts and not take it personally when another is unable to receive our gifts.

Detachment and Compassion

To some, the idea of detachment might seem cold or cruel….how do we just shake the dust off our feet and walk away from the people we care about who continue to choose fear, suffering, constriction and imprisonment in their lives?  Detachment, does not mean that we do not feel for the people in our lives.  Of course we can still feel compassion, even sadness, over their inability to remember the love that they are, to embrace freedom and joy in their life, to experience peaceful contentment, to be receptive to loving intimacy, to know fulfillment.  I know how truly sad I have felt when I see people I love continue to choose fear, constriction and an unfulfilling life.  I know how my heart breaks when I watch people I know continue the same destructive patterns.  Yes, we feel sorrow, empathy and compassion.  Detachment, is the skill that allows us to surrender to the process – to know that in sharing our gifts and holding another in love, we have planted a seed….and that in their own way, in their own time, if they so choose, that seed may take root and grow.  And that if it does not, that is ok too….we are all on our own unique and individual life journeys and we are still love regardless of whether or not we know it and regardless of how we choose to live that out in our lives.

Where have you shared your gifts and seen them joyfully received?

Where have you shared your gifts and had them not received?

How have you cultivated detachment in your own life?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in detachment, Surrender

It is None of my Business vs. Personal Responsibility

Today’s blog is in response to questions raised about embracing the philosophy of “It is none of my business” and how this may or may not be related to personal responsibility, especially when it relates to advocacy, being a source of support for another or in situations where we might seek a personal vendetta.  In the journey of spiritual growth and enlightenment, these are the hard questions we must all face.


Answers?

Right off the bat, I want to make it very clear that I do not have all the answers…..and most of the time I’m not even sure I have ANY of the answers.  That being said, the question has been raised (by my readers) about how “none of my business” relates to the call to advocacy and personal responsibility.  HHHMMMM……Let’s explore.

None of my business

I have shared with my readers the philosophy of “It is none of your business” that keeps showing up in my personal journey….both in regards to my own compulsive need to plan, anticipate and know the path and outcome of my life and in regards to my tendency to carry the shadow of others (seeing others’ “faults” and thinking it is my job to fix it).  Employing the mantra, “It is none of my business” allows me to let go of my tendency to worry and fret and it frees me from the inner judge and inner control freak that thinks it is my job to decide what is best for others and it is my job to make them comply with what I think is in their highest good.  More importantly, embracing the attitude, “It is none of my business” opens up opportunities of time and energy to tend to myself, my own needs and my own gifts and talents, time that I used to spend worrying about outcomes and trying to control others’ journeys.

Life is not so Black and White

Here is where the question comes in, specifically the question that keeps coming up for my readers.  “What if we know that someone is in a harmful, abusive, unhealthy situation?  Is it still none of our business.”   Embracing the mantra, “It is none of my business” does not preclude personal responsibility or a personal call to activism.  If we know that someone is in a dangerous situation, compassion invites us to bring this to light.  It may be as simple as letting them know that the situation is dangerous and that there are other choices.  Sometimes we are called upon to be a source of support and help for others who seek to find another way.  Sometimes intervention is called for.  Sometimes reporting the abuse/danger to the proper authorities is necessary.  These are all ways that we fulfill our call to personal responsibility and advocacy in the human journey.  HOWEVER…..not everyone wants our support, not everyone wants to be healthy or to live a life-giving, joyful experience.  AND…we cannot make anyone do or receive anything they do not want for themselves.

The Balance

I believe that in the end, it is about inner balance.  What are we worrying or obsessing about?  What is causing us inner tension, anxiety, fretfulness?  “It is none of my business” allows us to let go of this inner yuk.  When it comes to our own journey, and the journey of others, all we can do is “plant the seeds,” then let go of our attachment to the outcome.  Because in the end, we have NO CONTROL over the outcome.  Neither do we have control over the choices of another.  And yes, this part sucks as we watch those we love continue to make unhealthy choices (in our mind), and suffer unnecessary pain (according to our definition). And this is again where “it is none of my business” comes in handy.  It allows us to let go of the inner tendency to worry about the choices of another when in truth we have no control over it.

One Final Thought

Then here was a very specific question regarding the responsibility to “report” a business professional for their lack of integrity.  HHHMMMM  A challenge to be sure.  If a law has been broken or we have experienced a business professional doing something that has been defined as unethical by their field, yes, we have a responsibility and a right to report it.  If someone has done us wrong, we have the right to no longer choose to do business with them.  We have the freedom to not recommend them to another person.  The temptation in situations like this, however, is to want to take personal action against the individual as a means of exercising a personal vendetta, to get revenge.  This is where we are invited to trust in the law of KARMA!  We are not going to make an unethical business person change their ways.  We are not going to re-sculpt the moral landscape of an otherwise dishonest person.  All we have in this situation is, “It is none of my business,” and the invitation to trust in karma….the universe will work it out in the end and it only takes time and energy away from our own gifts and call to dwell on the way the person has done us wrong and on thoughts of all the ways in which we hope to “set it right.”  SIGH!

Where do you spend time in unnecessary worry about another’s life?

How do you balance the call to advocacy and the invitation to detachment?

Where do you project your own ideals, morals, values on another?

Where are you tempted to seek revenge against another who has personally harmed you?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in detachment, Uncategorized

In Our Highest Good

One of the spiritual ideas that I have come to embrace is the idea of Highest Good.  What this means to me is that we have a Divine Parent/Source that knows what is in our highest good and that this highest good is God’s will for us.  In God’s infinite wisdom, and with the gift of free will, this highest good is not imposed upon us from above (or within), but is available for us to access and accept, when we take the time to listen and hear.  The challenge for us as humans is to be open to hearing, believing and receiving this highest good.  The trouble is that we are really good at trying to manipulate and control our lives to try to get what we want, without any knowledge of whether what we want is in our highest good or not. 

Today I come face to face with this idea of highest good as I welcome an inspector into the home that my kids and I think we want. Notice….I said want.  I acknowledge that while this is the home that we want, there is always the possibility that God knows something I don’t know and that this house may not be in our highest good.  As I have found my monkey mind very busy redecorating and moving into this house and picturing all the amazing things I could do with that space, I have have humbly acknowledge the temptation to develop an attachment to something I don’t yet know enough about.  I recognize that the inspection may not turn out favorable. I also acknowledge the cost of bringing the house up to my vision may not yet be within my means.  I acutely hear God’s reminder to set my ego aside and go into the inspection with no attachment to outcome, but to use it as an exercise in gathering information.  If this house is indeed in our highest good, everything will work out harmoniously and favorably.  If not, I have to trust that God has something better in mind.  OOOOHHHHH  how my inner visionary struggles with this possibility.  The good news is that my Divine self knows better than to follow the path of the ego and to surrender to the path that God will reveal as in our highest good.  Of course I will be disappointed if this does not work out, but I am invited to trust that if it does not, there is something better in store and more in line with what is best for us as a family.

Where are you being invited to explore the path of your highest good?

What are the obstacles for you accept God’s knowledge and revelation of your highest good?

Can you surrender your wants to Divine guidance?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://www.authenticfreedom.net

Posted in detachment, Surrender

Tough Love, Non-attachment and Letting Go

I had to accomplish two very challenging tasks this weekend – both involving individuals I love deeply.  For one individual, I was called to step into the role of intervener.  For the other, I had to walk away.  Both situations required tough love, non-attachment and the process of letting go.  At some point in our life, with those we love or with whom we minister, all three qualities play an important role.

Tough love is an action of empowerment.  Exercising tough love allows us to disengage from a potentially co-dependent relationship and places responsibility where it should lie….on the shoulders of the responsible party.  It is very easy for us in our loving relationships and even in our professional relationships to want to be the person to help.  Unfortunately, this does not always support the personal responsibility of the other individual.  We are each ultimately responsible for our own personal journeys and in exercising tough love, we empower eachother to take responsibility for our lives.  It is challenging as a parent, wife, sister, friend to have to be placed in the role of having to exercise tough love, but it is ultimately the only way to ensure personal growth.  While we can still remain a source of loving support….it is not our job to do the work that others need to do for themselves.

Non-attachment is a term most frequently referred to in Buddhist circles.  Another way to say it is – no attachment to outcome.  Non-attachment is an attitude of surrender.  It allows us to freely and openly share our gifts…..without an attachment to the outcome.  In exercising this attitude….we may act as intervener or empowerer in our professional and personal relationships……while remaining content in knowing that the outcome is ultimately not up to us.  Non-attachment allows us to move through life without the emotional dramas that go along with desire.  I want my clients to be healed and to find success in their lives, I want my loved ones to have peace, I desire friends to step into their own giftedness.  Unfortunately……I have no control over how they move through their own journeys….neither can I control the outcome.  If I maintain an attachment to a certain outcome…..then there is sure to be frustration and disappointment.  Non-attachment allows us to let go of this ego-desire and surrender the outcome to the other party’s personal responsibility and to “fate.”    Non-attachment also allows us to let go of the ego-desires in our own life journey as well. 

Letting go………this might be the most difficult of the above attitudes.  Letting go requires us to recognize that there is a power greater than ourselves and that we ultimately have NO CONTROL over the outcome of our own lives….let alone the lives of others.  Letting go requires TRUST and FAITH  and vision that goes beyond the boundaries of our limited egoic perceptions.  Can we look beyond what appears to be to something greater?  Can we trust that as our loved ones dig a hole deep enough to house the Grand Canyon that there is a greater lesson in this somewhere?  Can we trust that their life is not our own and that we need to let go and let them learn their own lessons …. no matter how hard?  Can we trust that eventually we all hit rock bottom and will eventually find our way out?  Can we let go of our experience, our expertise, our own giftedness and trust that they will eventually find their own source of support……even if it is not us.  AAARRRGGGHHH  Yea, this might be the most difficult of them all.  And….as I type this, I feel my neck and shoulders locking up…..so I guess my hunch is right. 

So the invitation today is to look at our life journeys and ask where we are invited to exercise tough love, non-attachment and letting go.  As we exercise these virtues….we move closer and closer to our own experience of inner peace. 

Posted in detachment, Gifts of Contemplation

The Fine Art of Detachment

I am frequently awed in the face of the way that contemplative practice heals and transforms us.  Yesterday I was reminded of this wonder while listening to a client share an experience they were having that they did not fully comprehend.  This client had grown up in an abusive situation and in recent years had been doing the work of healing from the effects of the abuse.  In their healing, they had suddenly realized that the way in which they viewed and interacted with the abuser had dramatically changed.  In the past, interactions with this person would have hurled my client into a storm of negative emotions and downward spiraling thoughts.  Now, they simply felt nothing.  “Is there something wrong with me?” my client wondered.  We explored further the “nothing” that the client was now feeling and determined that there is nothing wrong with my client – they had simply achieved the spiritual state of detachment.  Achieving this state of detachment was proof of the healing that has taken place in my client and I congratulated them on being open to allowing healing to be done in this way. 

Detachment is an interior experience of being able to be present to the situations of our life as an objective observer.  In this state, we are no longer prone to judgement that then hurls us into negative emotional reactions, but are able to simply be a witness to our life experiences as they unfold- free from the negative emotional dramas that previously plagued us.   Detachment is the fruit of diligent attention to inner healing through contemplation. 

Detachment is a remarkable gift as we traverse through the ups and downs of our human experience and is especially helpful in our human interactions.  From a place of detachment, we are able to be present to the people in our lives who may have hurt us in the past or with whom we might typically struggle.  Instead of being drawn into the negative emotional cycle that we create around these people, or being drawn into someone else’s drama, we are able to simply observe.  From this place of observation, we are freed of our typical judgmental or defensive response and are able to be present and when appropriate respond from a place of truth and compassion.  Detachment also empowers us to create healthier boundaries in our human relationships.  We are no longer tempted to get drawn into drama or other unhealthy dynamics and are able to freely choose how we want to interact (or not) with the people in our lives. 

Detachment is also helpful as we witness the unfolding of our life.  We are no longer tempted to cling to expectations of certain outcomes and are able to simply watch as our life happens.  In this way, we open ourselves up to that which the Divine knows to be in our highest good.  We no longer judge the circumstances or outcomes in our life as good or bad – but recognize that they simply are.   We are then able to regard our life from a place of wonder, curious as to where it may be leading us and how this may be influencing the future direction of our life.  Detachment allows us to move through our life with more grace and ease, free from worry and the compulsive need to control.  Detachment allows us to know more fully our true nature as men and women of freedom and peace. 

Cultivating detachment begins with the simple awareness that this state of peaceful observation is possible.   As was evidenced by my client, no effort was made on their part to specifically cultivate detachment, it simply arose as the fruit of their willingness to be open to their journey of healing.   The same will be true for us as well.  The invitation then is to simply be open – open to the healing love of the Divine that draws us closer and closer to freedom and peace.