Detachment is not Selfishness – It’s Actually what Unconditional Love Really Is


For a few years now, I have studied and tried to understand the meaning of the word ‘detachment’ and I came up with the conclusion that it is synonymous to unconditional love. But how could that be when detachment is the absence of affection? Let me share with you the important lessons I’ve learned through learning and practicing detachment and how I relate it with unconditional love.

I first heard the word detachment from a friend I met on Facebook (yes, Facebook can be a place to meet spiritual and wise people). He once asked me “Are you detached?” and my 19-year old childish mind cannot even comprehend what the word actually means, and I am being asked if I were detached. I quickly looked it up on the Internet and according to Wikipedia, detachment is a state in which a person overcomes his or her attachment to desire for things, people or concepts of the world and thus attains a heightened perspective.

At that time, I admit I wasn’t even that close to being detached. But I knew I wanted to be. I was just beginning in my spiritual journey, searching for the ‘meaning of life’, so it was perfect timing.

After that, I searched for articles I can find on the internet about detachment and any written materials from teachers, gurus, monks, yogis and so on.

I noticed is that detachment or non-attachment speaks more about loving our Self, above others. At first, it sounded like selfishness. It can seem like that to people who refuse to embrace the idea.

From what I have read and learned, being detached means not being affected by whatever happens outside of my-Self. I am detached when I do not try to control other people and let them be what they are. This also means letting them feel their sadness, their grief, as well as their joys.

We do not wish for them to change; because we can love them just the way they are.

This doesn’t mean we don’t care for them. We just understand that they have their own journeys to make, mistakes to learn from, and experiences to have.

It sounds painful at first, especially if we want someone we love to stay safe and guarded. We think we know better so we tell them to live a certain way, act a certain way and be a certain way. We think we are showing love when we do this.

But controlling someone make them prisoners of our own fears. It stops them from experiencing the fullness of life. We lock them in our own cages because we think we are not fit to fly, so they shouldn’t try either.

Detachment allows us to love unconditionally by letting others be what they want to be.

This, in turn, allows everyone to be happy, fulfilled and living their life’s purposes.

I had the greatest test of my practice on detachment when my past boyfriend broke up with me. It hurts so much when he chose his booming career over our relationship.

I supported him on his decision, but it took time for me to accept it.

But knowing how detachment works, loving him does not stop when we broke up.

I can continue to love him, being happy with his accomplishments, knowing that he went after his dreams.

Being detached is letting the situation manifest as it will, without worrying about the outcome. When things go opposite of what we’ve planned, we don’t get angry or blame someone else for it.

We let things be, and we accept.


Don’t be Overwhelmed By An Ego Response

Here is an Interactive Transcript from this video: 

One day, somebody came and spat at the Buddha. The Buddha reacted to him by saying Thank you.

The chief disciple of the Buddha was very upset with the guy who spat at him and he was ready to grab him and hit him.

The Buddha interfered and he said to his disciple Ananda, “Everything in life has a meaning. It happens for a purpose. He spat at me and it was fine for me and I did not react except in a positive way. So he gave me a test; a test of my own ego reaction. I passed. But what happened to you, you failed.”

This is a great story. If you want to succeed in life, there is one thing: There will be people hurting your ego all the time, from morning to evening. Somebody will hurt your ego and you will be hurting somebody’s ego.

The bottom line is you should not be overwhelmed by an ego response. You should step out if somebody praises or somebody abuses you or ridicules you. You are not going to be carried away one way or the other. You are simply like the Buddha — totally freed from the ego.

You will see you will succeed in life if you develop this attitude because as soon as somebody boosts up your ego; he may be doing this to make you happy and it helps you get things done. Then you will get along with this person because whenever your ego is boosted, you feel happy and whenever it is hurt, you feel unhappy. But you should not be a victim in both cases.

If somebody is hurting your ego, let him hurt you but you are not going to be defined by it and you are not going to show any reaction, not even a facial reaction, since the face is the index of the mind.

Let go, and you will see

To all the memories of the past – good or bad,
I let them go.
To all the things I should have done,
I let them go.
To all the things I shouldn’t have done,
I let them go.
To all the friends I lost that I am missing,
I let them go.
To all the lovers who came and went,
I let them go.
To all the illusions I had along the years,
I let them go.
To all my loved ones who’ve passed on,
I let them go.
To all the things that I wanted to do,
I let them go.
To all the dreams I still have,
I let them go.
To all the habits I tried to cultivate,
I let them go.

For now is the only moment.
Here is the only place to be.
Nowhere should my mind wander.
Nowhere I should be.

Let go, and you will see.

This world is nothing,
I have no expectations of this world.
I let it go, together with my ambitions.
For what is the future, but just a thought in my head.
What is the past, but just a memory.

Let go, and you will see.

To regret is to the past.
And to hope is to the future.
But what are they at this moment?
No-thing but thoughts in my head.

What is there to expect?
What is there to want?
For whom should dreams be?
No-thing, no-body.

Let go, and you will see.

All are just the mind,
Expressing itself in ignorance.
All are just the ego,
Always wanting to achieve more.
What for? Whom for?

Even God do not require us
To be somebody or someone else.
Only to remember who we are and what we are
And that is to remember that we are God, himself.

And what are you, but a soul of God.
God in spirit, expressing.
But that God-ness inside is not able to project itself,
Because of all the thoughts and ideas you guard.

Let go, and you will see.

When will you break the chains?
When will you let go of the greed?
When will you begin to reflect the God in you?
Is it not only now?
Is it not only here?

If we are all given
Every moment to choose,
Would you choose God to express himself through you?
Or would you keep the ego eating you alive?

Let it all go, and you will see.

Let it go.

The More You Want it, The More You Should LET IT GO

What do you want? This is not about the petty stuffs, but the essential things in life. It can be Love, Peace, Happiness, and so on. Deep in our hearts, we all want these things. And we all TRY really hard to achieve them. What we don’t know however, is that the more we try to get these things, the more we push them away. Letting GO is the key.

LETTING GO. Ahh, that sounds really good. Ever felt the feeling of just releasing everything for a while and just let it all go? It feels good, but we often hesitate on doing it.

I’ve had many instances in my life where I tried so hard to hold on to something because I thought I will feel happy having it. I wanted Love, Peace, happiness, success… When these things get almost within my reach, I would grab into them. But the more I held them in my hands, the more it burned me inside.

Let me discuss the two things most of us chase after at.

SUCCESS … Growing up, I was taught that I have to be successful to earn respect from other people. I wanted it so bad. I felt enthusiastic with life knowing that one day; I will earn the respect I deserve. I thought the word success was synonymous to respect. I made plans on how to achieve that. And I failed. I was going in circles, but never getting to where I wanted to go. After unsuccessful attempts, I just had enough of it. Everything I started seemed to be going downhill. ‘What respect can I earn from this?’ I asked. ‘This is B.S.’ So, I gave up. I let go and I gave up.

Turns out, I was aiming for it the wrong way. I realized that being successful is not about recognition. It’s about doing what I love to do. It brought me back to what I am doing – my work. I love my work. I love writing and ever since I was young, this was what I wanted to do. But I let my own ‘idea’ of success blind me from loving what I was doing. I remember a line from the movie 3 Idiots “Don’t chase success. Be a good engineer and success will chase you.” This applies to any type of job, really.

So I figured, if I just do my work and put my best into it, then success will eventually follow. I am a writer and I started focusing on writing instead of making plans on how to be successful. People who’ve had this experience and realization will agree that the quote from that movie is entirely true. When I let go of wanting to be successful and just focused on the moment – doing my work, the breakthroughs in my career arrived. I am not popular or the richest person in the world (yet), I don’t even care. But I feel good about myself, I love my work, my work loves me, I have loving clients, I am appreciated, and most of all, respected. I really can say now, that I am successful.

LOVE… Of course, who doesn’t want Love?! You’re probably saying, ‘oh, common… if you know I want it, why would I let it go?’ Well, that’s the point. You want it, so you must let it go. I made a few mistakes about having my own idea of love. I wanted it so badly that when I had it, I didn’t want to let go. This happens with relationships most of the time. I admit, I made my own mistakes. Now, as I realize them, I feel sorry for all the people I’ve had expectations with, for all the trouble I might have caused them. I wanted to be loved according to my own terms because I thought by doing that, I can make it last. Love felt so wonderful that I wanted it so bad to stay the same, not knowing it slowly ate away the love that was once there. Not only that, I also was robbing the other person of his own happiness, including my own.

Turns out, when I let go and let love come in, love will flow endlessly. Trying to keep a relationship prevented me from realizing the infinite love that life is offering me. I thought that having a relationship would give me the love I’ve always searched for in life. That thought is so childish. When I finally let go, all the barriers and walls that prevented love from coming in was broken down. I was able to witness God’s love and the love that the Universe is clothing me with. Everything around me was love. Not that I didn’t feel that during the relationships I had, but I didn’t feel the infinite-ness of it back then. It’s not about how much God loves us. It’s about how much love we are willing to let in. And even though God loves us infinitely, holding on to what we think is love blinded us from seeing that everlasting, unconditional love.

Whatever it is we are searching for, if we let go and stop the search – that is how we find it. If we just come back to the moment, it is all there. It is ever HERE and NOW. What is there to hold on to HERE? What is  there to search for NOW? Let it go and let it flow.  🙂

When People Are Unreasonable

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered;

forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives:

Be kind anyway.

What you spend years creating others could destroy overnight:

Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.

Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it may never be enough:

Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God:

it was never between you and them anyway.”

– Mother Teresa

It has been one challenging week for my ego. Maybe it’s one of those messages from God that is teaching me a lesson. I hope I did learn it.

First was my problem with the work I was doing. I gave my best effort to finish a project only to be ditched by the client. It was pretty harsh and I was so disappointed. I am trying to do what Mother Teresa says, “Forgive them anyway.”

I guess we cannot really control other people’s crooked characters. I do believe in karma though so I let the hands of the Universe take care of it. Anyway, God is wiser than I am.

Whenever I think about the client and the other people who are unreasonable, I just keep quiet for a while and try to forgive them in my heart. I do not want to hate or curse anyone. And the miracle is not only to love loving people, but also to love those who seem unloving to us.

I loved the quote that says, “I asked God to protect me from my enemies, and I started losing friends.” We cannot help to have friends who are crooked sometimes. People who are secretly talking about us behind our backs and don’t really love us. When we start to radiate love and compassion, these people begin to move away from our lives because their vibration does not match ours.

In the end, I understand why my client ditched me. It is because I asked God for loving, honest and trustworthy people in my life and they simply don’t match that. Maybe I should prepare losing more people in my life then.

My ego was challenged, and I asked God to silence it. With that, I understood.

God’s will be done.

Reason for Obsessive Desires – Why We Tend to Want Things So Badly

Do you want something Now? You probably do. You want a better job, you want to buy a bigger home, you want a Ferrari, you want to get married, you want to go to places, you want to buy the latest iPhone, and you want… the list goes on and on.

But do you ever ask yourself why? Why do you want these things? I know your answer – “Because it will make me happy!” Well, you think it will make you happy. However, do you notice that once you get the thing you want, after some time you don’t want it anymore and you go wanting for something else.

I’ve been doing this too, all my life and one day I just realized I am tired of the cycle. I thought maybe there is more to life than just wanting things. Some people, even teachers told me that wanting stuffs is part of life, and this is why we are born here on earth; to experience things, to want things again and again to fulfill ourselves. But somehow, my inner voice wasn’t buying that. And I know and believe that when something feels off to me, then it’s off – I shouldn’t buy it.

I sat down with this question and let the Universe lead me to the answer. I found out something really interesting and profound.

Let me give you an example here.

Say you wanted a gold coin. You struggle to find this gold coin everywhere. You don’t really care about the other coins, because you only want this specific gold coin. Because of that, you aren’t really available for anything else. You think there is JOY in the gold coin. This creates confusion in your mind, it makes you struggle because you WANT the gold coin, and you NEED to have it.

One day, you finally get it, after a long and exhausting search you say “Ah! I found it! Yay! OMG, I have it, I’m SO happy!!”

You are happy, of course. For a few moments, days, months maybe, or let’s say years. You are happy for that time. But then your mind starts wanting something else again. “Hmm, maybe I’ll go get a silver coin too. Yeah, I should get that one.” And you begin the search again.

This cycle happens again and again.

Only a few people will stop and ask ‘Why am I doing all these? What am I searching for?’

You thought the gold coin will make you happy, and you did get happy when you finally got it. But happiness is not in the gold coin. The gold coin is just a coin – nothing in it. You cannot find happiness in anything.

When you found the gold coin, you became happy because in that few moments, your mind was FREE from the desire. This freedom is what you are interpreting as happiness. All the desires we have is just a quest for that short moment of freedom.

We think that the quest is in having, or in wanting and getting, but it’s actually the freedom that we all searching for.

Do you notice how the people who have renounced their worldly desires are living in such peace and stillness? It’s because they realized this freedom, and they understand that freedom is what they really are.

You may not accept this now, but maybe one day.

I don’t know what I want. I was asking myself why I didn’t know. Now I realize it’s because I have this freedom from wanting. I have come to understand that the cycle stops in me. I am liberated from obsessive desires and I am this liberation. I just had to break the walls I myself have created that prevented that freedom from emerging.

Now I am free.

How to Achieve Detachment

First of all, I’d like to stress out that detachment is not a negative thing. Some people claim that attachment is needed for human survival and affection. “No man is an island”, as they say. But there is a difference in this. Yes, we cannot live alone and being in the company of others is a good thing. However thinking that you cannot live without the other is just not healthy.

We are all ‘whole’ individuals who are capable of living in a world; we are being provided with everything we need at the moment. We are born to this earth to be self-sufficient. Yes, in our earlier years when we are babies, we are taken care of by our parents, which is how God intended it to be. Going back to what I said earlier: “We are provided with everything that we need at the moment.”

Attachment on the other hand is resisting and rejecting the laws of the Universe. Attachment is telling yourself you cannot live without this certain person or a thing, which is why you want to possess it. You believe that because life is short, you want to have it all and own it all.

When you feel good at this moment and you want to attach yourself to it, you are resisting the laws of the Universe for bringing you more joyful moments. When you try to possess your partner, you are not allowing the other person to find their own happiness. When you are attached to the past, or to the future, you are not allowing yourself to live in the NOW, thus you violate the laws of the Universe.

There is such relief in letting yourself be free from your attachments, because you abide with the law of the Universe, and thus it blesses you with more than you could ever imagine, with such ease.

Steps in Becoming Detached:

1. Detachment from Experiences

You can do this by first accepting the moment as it is. Trust and believe that what is happening right NOW is enough. Redirect your thoughts when you notice that they veer toward attachment. Believe that change is what makes us evolve and grow as individuals and withstanding change will set you free. Enjoy your NOW fully and aim for the quality of the moment instead of quantity – this will free you from attaching yourself to the experience.

2. Detachment from People

Don’t let others have the authority of revealing your worthiness. Believe that you ARE worthy whether others tell you or not. Be a friend to yourself. Explore your own interests and do it alone sometimes. Don’t be someone who always needs others to push you. You have your own feet and hands.

Try to hold others lightly and not cling to them. Appreciate their presence but release your attachments to them. This can be applied even to romantic relationships. Understand that YOU ARE NOT SOMEONE’S OTHER HALF. Relationships take two whole persons. Believe that you won’t be miserable without the other person.

3. Detachment from the Past

Understand that the past has already happened and there is no way you can change it. Holding onto the past is based on fear. Try holding onto to LOVE instead, and focus on the things that you love right NOW. Create happiness with that.

Make your PRESENT MOMENT count so that you will break free from your fear and attachment to the past. When you talk about your past, try not to recall how bad it was. Make peace with whatever happened and see to it that those circumstances happened so this You, RIGHT NOW will emerge.

4. Detachment from Outcomes

Practice letting things be as they are and make peace with your NOW. You cannot find happiness in the future – it only happens in the present moment, and that is all you ever have: NOW. Try not to think that you NEED to know what your future will be like – because truly, nobody knows. The only thing you can do however is to believe that your future is hinged on how well you live TODAY.

5. Detachment from Emotions

If you are experiencing pain, understand that it is unavoidable. No matter how well we do in life, there will always be pain. But as the saying goes: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Acknowledge your emotions and express them – this is how you can transcend them after.

Another helpful thing to do when you are in pain is try to recall all the happy moments you had and appreciate them. Gratitude is the best exercise. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude and you will transform your life.

Detachment may be difficult, because we accepted the difficulty of attachments as a part of our lives. Even though we understand that it is already making our lives miserable, we still tend to hold on to our attachments because it’s what keeps all the drama alive. Yet, this is not healthy – neither to us, nor to others. Developing detachment is important so we can live in harmony with the people around us, and most importantly with ourselves.

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