Detachment – A Disconcerting Word

Detachment poem

I have been dealing with this demon of detachment ever since my nest became empty, reflecting on how disconcerting this visitor is and why he chooses to lurk around despite the rebuffs he faces.

I tried to humor him with poetic immersions, offering the best of emotional entreaties to leave me alone and warning him that he was an unwelcome guest. He still smiles and cajoles me with his capers.

He tries to pull me out of emotional attachments, which cloud our judgment, which shackle us to our past, which are like a lump in the throat, declining to dissolve.

He acquainted me with my new self, his cold touch warmed up when he dragged me out of my cocoon to look around with a new perspective. He has redefined the hues of life for me and has been exhorting me to look beyond emotions.

He tells me that there is much more to life than just attachments.

He almost succeeded! His friendship brought tranquility in my life. I learned to lower my expectations.

Despite his sincere efforts, new attachments have gently tiptoed into my life, brushing aside this demon with their tiny feet. My love-hate relationship with him has grown as he keeps cautioning me… ‘Earthly attachments have to be abdicated one day.’

My love for my grandchildren has been overshadowed by this demon who refuses to leave albeit I show him the door everyday. His long shadows follow me everywhere. He gets extremely jealous of their prattle, their hugs and the games we play. He has to sit alone!

The other day this demon knocked me down when we were playing ‘let’s catch’. I know he was missing the fun we were having and wanted me to behave like a grandma.

While I was sitting on the ground, nursing me twisted foot; my four-year-old grand daughter hugged me and told me…’its ok, its a little hurt, you are fine’ and my little grandson sat on my lap to soothe me, just like I do!

Can you think of detachment when there is so much of love?

Can you shrug off new attachments as transient and delusive?

I know “attachment is the great fabricator of illusions….” BUT

We have found again
Those tiny hands, happily holding ours
Those dainty feet, walking willingly with us
Those exquisite eyes, eagerly waiting
Those moments of eternal bliss!

The delight that shimmers in their eyes
Returned our perennial pride, our glory
Restored the world of fragrant fairy tales
The glow of gratitude glimmers
Reassuring many more years of love.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.


41 thoughts on “Detachment – A Disconcerting Word

  1. Balroop, how can you not love them and feel attached? I thought that was part of life, the wonderful part.
    You are still attached to your children although they moved, as my son said “we are always your kids”.
    You also get more time to form your new identities, you write, and have time to do so.
    We all get many likeminded friends here and form another sort of attachment.

    So tell this demon off…..or maybe make him/her your friend. 🦋

    1. Thank you Miriam for such a beautiful perspective…this demon keeps revisiting and the love-hate relationship with detachment keeps growing. You are right…love and attachment go together but the unseen monster refuses to back off!

  2. You touched on many “close to home” feelings here. Made me think of snoopy fishing rods and moments.
    I really enjoyed the read.

  3. While I can try to detach from the world around me, I doubt if ever I could detach from tiny feet or appealing eyes that yearn to be loved.. Such a different perspective to view both attachment and detachment Balroop.
    I try my hardest to detach from the harshness of reality, creating my own world within worlds… Which is what your beautiful grandchildren do.. Living in the Now, focusing on the moment..
    I think if we all did that more often and stopped repeating the past we would all move forward with much more ease..
    Love and Blessings dear Balroop, This was a wonderful piece of writing..
    Hugs Sue ❤ 🙂

    1. I agree with you Sue…agree wholeheartedly that it is easier to detach from materialistic possessions but little feet act like magnets and make you retreat your footsteps. Life can be so confusing yet lovely at times as such moments dispel delusions, which people build to glorify detachment!
      I have always lived in the moment…moments of joy or sorrow…I have always embraced them and so let me bask in these glorious moments of new attachments…that’s what I have been telling this demon of detachment. 🙂
      Thank you dear friend for your beautiful words of reassurance. Love and hugs back to you. Stay blessed!

      1. So glad my comment spoke to you dearest friend.. I do battle often.. And have to shake myself with my shoulders.. 🙂 lol. you are not alone my friend.. xxx ❤

  4. Beautiful post, Balroop. I think there is a big difference between love (the unconditional giving) and attachment (the dependent taking). Enjoy your grandchildren and love love love them up. ❤

  5. The simple joys of being in the presence of loved ones is what fuels are desire to remember the attachment and not dwell on the demon of detachment. It’s normal for any of us to go to the dark side every so often. The trick is to have the mental skills to come back to the light my friend. 🙂 xx

    1. Well said Deb…demons do love darkness and try to drag us into it. The choice lies with us. 🙂 Thanks for the lovely thought. 🙂

  6. 24/7 if we let it the woes of the world filter into our homes and thoughts. Sometimes being detached is a way of not having the fears for our family and friends. I can understand the seduction of not feeling that intensity of emotion all the time. However, it is the attachments that keep us grounded and also keep those around us loved and safe from the outside world.

    1. Thank you dear Sally for reading and sharing your insights…intensity of emotions try to drown us many times, it is detachment that comes to our rescue eventually. 🙂 Many hugs dear friend.

  7. Lovely post. Young ones surely are a big magnet…hard to resist. Their warmth, innocence and attachment are hard to shrug off.

  8. Thought provoking topic…It is a dichotomy of life we cannot escape. Detachment is contextual. Attachment to materialistic possession is detrimental but attachment to love of life and family is productive. Grandchildren are always a wonderful source of unbridled joy and such delight in life none of us can do anything but just fall in love. The innocence and the simplicity of their thoughts and actions makes us magnetically attached. The pull is there and we simply cannot push it aside. We just need to learn the art of living life differently, we keep learning and living in a manner where we balance out the attachment from the detachments.

    I love the statement “attachment is the greatest fabricator of illusions”…yes earthly attachment have to be abdicated one day and none of us can ever escape that conundrum of life. Given that reality and accepting the facts of life we need to learn and much more how to unlearn from such things in life. Managing expectations in life and managing the changing demands in life are challenging and there is no defined way to handle it, we need to keep exploring and expanding our horizon of engagement and dis-engagement from such aspects of life.
    Attachments are delusions and we get mired with disillusionment of life…thanks for sharing such a profound post.

    1. I agree with you Nihar, there is no defined way to handle the changing demands and relationships keep changing. We have to develop maturity and resilience to accept the changes, learn them to let go and find joy in the little fleeting moments that life gives us. 🙂
      Thank you for sharing such profound thoughts, they have added so much of meaning to the topic.

  9. Hi Balroop,

    Oh it’s not easy at all! I can understand all that you mentioned. Being an empty nester ourselves, we know how it feels. But one cannot detach, and Granny’s – never! Reminds me of my Mom too and how she was with my kids – with so much of love and affection from both sides, one’s just tied to the threads of love forever.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. So true Harleena! I am glad you and your family share a loving relationship…may these fragile threads strengthen the ties of emotional bonding. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful week as well.

  10. This is simply lovely, Balroop. Your role as a grandmother has shooed away detachment. Good thing, too. I’ll need these to shoo away my own detachment. Past hurts have caused me to be cautious with new people in my life but I know when I have my own grandchildren I will love with abandon.

    1. Yes Lisa, some attachments are too precious and refuse to back off…love your looking forward to your new dreams! 🙂 Stay blessed!

  11. I can do detachment, and I’m far from heartless, as one might presume in such a case. Knowing we are all One under Creation, ‘channeling’ the divine through the vessels we call selves perhaps helps, I don’t know. I grieve mightily when losing dear ones, so it’s not that. It’s just that I knew we had a rare opportunity to meet up, eye to eye, soul to soul On This Plane. How extraordinary. Each time I throw my heart into the ring, I’m well aware it will one day be broken when separation must occur. As it does, whether them or me, who knows? All I do know is that, knowing all is temporal, my appreciation is heightened. Every day I draw breath. Aloha, Balroop! ❤

    1. I am so happy for you Bela, you seem to be a balanced personality…on the path to spirituality as it very much glows in your poetry. Knowing deep within that this heart is ready to accept pain, an inevitable aspect of attachments…surely it is an exalting experience! Thanks for sharing the Divine within you. Love and hugs dear friend, you are my inspiration. 🙂

  12. The words in your posts touched me greatly and, just now I’m thinking of the time when my nest would be an empty one! I’ve no idea how well I would cope with the feeling. I’m a strong person nonetheless but, every strong personality is extremely fragile deep within. But, that;s life and we have to deal with the detachment with which we’re dearly attached. Change it is…I think, of perspectives, thoughts and emotions.

    Have a great time with your little grandkids, they are the pure source of joy… 🙂

  13. Thanks for reading the emotion embedded in this post Mani…you can never imagine this feeling, it is like that famous dictum of ‘only the wearer knows…
    I was known to be a very strong personality but you won’t believe how fragile I felt when I had to let go. The day my girls flew overseas to study further and I went to work, everyone had questions but I couldn’t speak a sentence and didn’t know how tears fell and I told everyone please don’t ask…
    Yes, life is like that but we have to deal with each emotion alone, deep within to accept the changes.

  14. I think of non-attachment as not being attached to things that harm you: drugs, too much food, harmful relationships, negative thinking. But I think it’s important to be attached to people. Thoughts?

    1. Yes Georgia, it is nor only important but natural to get attached but when we have to let go, it seems some chunk of heart is being taken away. That vacuum can never be filled, we just get used to it. Thanks for sharing your thought.

  15. Oh this is a tough one, Balroop! It is as though the detachment won’t take its hands off you.. it won’t let you shake it loose. Of course that doesn’t mean you love the grandkids any less ❤

  16. Balroop, with my son still at home for at least another two year I haven’t had any personal experience of ’empty nest’ but I hope I will greet this stage with love and courage as I have all the other stages of our lives together. Gosh, I will miss him so much, that I know but I will also feel pride and joy in his life and find new ventures opening up for me! Who knows, tiny feet & hands one day, perhaps…

    1. I am glad that you are looking forward to your love, courage and pride, which show their true colors only when we are in the soup! Thank you dear Annika for sharing your thoughts…tiny feet are treasured memories!

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