The idea of “detachment” in recovery is perhaps not well served by such a clinical name. It sounds cold and quite standoffish. As I have worked to understand and practice detachment in my relationships I’ve found that it brings me closer to people in powerful and meaningful ways. It is a vital part in my true participation and helpfulness in other people’s lives. For many people in recovery, including myself, relationships with others were typically codependent and enmeshed because of over-attachment and a lack of proper boundaries.
I can’t help someone else find their truth by giving them mine and denying them the chance to develop their own.
Understanding that we are each alone with our own understanding of God in our journey in life means I can stand with you but not be a part of you. Nor can I make you a part of me.
Each of us must drink from our own unique cup of life.
This insight has also provided a framework for understanding how my own desire to control others works. It has helped me become able to accept people for the way they are now rather than hoping, expecting, or “helping them” become something I think they should be. Playing God in the lives of others while ignoring his role in my own life was a chronic problem during my years in addiction and it continues to be subtle area of opportunity that I get to work on in recovery. I am increasingly able to step back from my desire to ‘mansplain’ the world to others in ways that disguise my desire to control as help.
(An excerpt from the book A Year of Days – 12/13)