Practical Steps to Detachment

Most students find that after they have been studying for a while they are able to detach from situations or relationships that once would have bothered them. But they often still have a problem letting go of situations or relationships that began before they became students.

Keep in mind that any situation that causes you to have a strong emotional reaction is meant to replace God. This means even so-called “positive” emotions. The idea is to get you so involved in the world/body/ego that you forget Who you really are. Detachment is natural as you recognize that this “life” in the world is not your Reality.

If you are really hooked into a relationship you cannot seem to detach from, here is a three-stage practical way to reach detachment (you can use these for other situations not involving people as well):

First, it is easier to deal with people when you can clearly accept them only as an idea – when they are not physically present or occurring. So take advantage of this, and when they come to mind with a strong emotional charge, tell yourself something that reminds you that you are not seeing the Truth in your mind or in their mind. For example: “This is not Truth. This is not who I really am or who they really are.” Then think about what the Truth really is, what the experience of God really is: Peace, love, wholeness.

Second, when they are with you and there is nothing happening to cause a strong reaction, remind yourself that the Truth in both your minds is the same. You may also address the other person in your mind: “The Truth in your mind and in my mind is One. We are holy, whole, peaceful and loving.”

Third, when you are in the middle of an upsetting situation, step back within yourself and remind yourself that this is not what you want, that this is not the Truth in either of you. I have even done this in the middle of an argument! It is very effective in ending your conflict, because you have established that this is not your goal. As your attitude and behavior changes, the other person’s may as well. And if it doesn’t, just remind yourself that what is appearing is not Truth, and remember this for the other person as well.

In time, these steps will become automatic, and as you want Truth more and more, detachment will come easier.


Linda said…
Thanks this is very helpful.
Anonymous said…
Hello Liz,
When the course says 'shadow figures', what does that really mean? If I am standing in front of a body is it truly not there? What if the body invades your space? Do you just let this happen, close your eyes, be at peace and pretend it's not there?
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, "shadow figures" refers to what you project onto the body of another. You see through the filter of your own past. As in, you instantly like or dislike someone because unconsciously they remind you of someone from the past. Or you continue to see someone who has changed as you used to see them because you have not let go of your old way of seeing them, etc.

If someone is in your space simply say "Excuse me" and move away. Or ask them nicely to give you more space.

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