A couple weeks ago I went to a breath work class at my yoga studio. I had actually started a blog about breathing earlier today, but I’ll save that for later. After going to a breath work workshop this afternoon, I feel there are more pressing things to process.
Detachment – looking at an experience, person, thing, etc. objectively. It’s not a lack of caring. It’s observation. It’s not holding onto what could be or might be or even, god forbid, what should be. It’s watching from a distance. It’s letting go.
I am far from detached. In fact, I’m as attached as one might be. Okay, maybe I need to take a step back – I’m not completely attached. I’ve been able to detach intellectually. I’ve been able to detach enough to say: no medical treatment. I’ve been able to look objectively at the situation: my body doesn’t have what it needs to conceive. Perhaps there is a reason for that. Perhaps my body isn’t meant to conceive. Detachment. Objective observation.
It’s my heart that can’t detach. It’s my heart that is so attached to the idea of motherhood – due to a natural pregnancy – and because of that attachment, I’m suffering.
Suffering isn’t the result of an action or experience. Suffering comes from the attachment to the outcome of the action or experience.
When I run a race, I have a general time that I want to reach, but I also know that just running a half marathon is success in itself. So, if I reach that time, hooray! If I don’t, I might be bummed for a minute, but then I remind myself that I just ran 13.1 miles and I move on.
That’s an easier one, I suppose. It’s not so easy when I want someone to respond a specific way to something I say or do. I want to receive a “thank you” for that gift and when I don’t, I’m disappointed – a minor suffering. Or, I want a friend to reach out, to show concern and when they don’t, I’m disappointed – a slightly more painful suffering.
What would it look like to be my true self in all situations without expectations of how others will respond? What would it look like to step back and view my life as a play – to live into the roles, to watch it all unfold?
In many ways I try to live my life with this concept of detachment in mind. It’s not about low expectations or settling or giving up – it’s about living my life without letting other people’s actions determine how I feel or respond. It’s about recognizing my feelings – seeing them as separate from me (I am sad versus I feel sad – very different).
In a couple months it will be 1 year since I received that call from my doctor while I was standing in JoAnn’s with my husband’s grandma. I will not be healed by then. I may never completely heal. But, I wonder what it would look like for me to start practicing detachment a little more? To let go of the expectations I’ve held onto so tightly – to loosen the grip just a little bit. To focus on what’s around me, in front of me, surrounding me. To be present.
I had no idea that intentional breathing in a safe space surrounded by (mostly) strangers could provide such an enlightened experience. I had no idea that my body is capable of offering my own healing. I’m discovering that being open – willing – trusting – leads me to spacious places. Places of gratitude, love, and curiosity.
I wonder…what will I experience from detachment? Where is God leading me? What can being present offer me? This is an intriguing scene in one long, complicated play. I look forward to watching what happens next!