A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘disentanglement’

Balance re: attachment, detachment ~

marefoalI do sometimes wish that the English language were more diverse. There are times like this when one word does not fit all. Attachment can mean anything from an area where a plug connects with its socket to the relationship between a mother and her young.  Detachment of a type is an important concept in Buddhism, and also a sign of sever emotional dysfunction in a child. Gads! What a world! I may get quite verbose on this one, as it’s a tough nut to crack.

First, be aware that detachment in Buddhism is a type of disentanglement when one is so embroiled and enmeshed in the lives of others that the attachment causes  severe discomfort for both parties, where neither party knows a gentle way to ease out of the situation. It is not intended to dissolve one’s compassionate interaction with other humans, or even other beings. Quite to the contrary, it is intended to teach that the truest form of compassion will always be there to help, but will never interfere if the person has already bgmade up their mind the direction in which they intend to go. When that person is injured as a result, there is no recrimination, simply help with getting back on one’s feet. It is not an easy way to live or see the world. There are so many times when pure temptation would have us say “I told you that would happen.”

Only when it becomes apparent that even with the hard knocks the person hasn’t learned are we to take a further step back, even then, no recrimination, simply not allowing their need to learn the hard way to devolve us out of the path we are supposed to be walking. The concept being that once you have done everything you can, and are praying about those areas where you cannot reach out and make a difference, (the prayer that some one somewhere can.) BTW, the serenity prayer helps with that (Neibuhr), you can move on to learn the next step of your path. One of the things that attracted me to Buddhism was that there are those, (called bhodisatvas) who chose to stay on this plane to help those of us who lag behind. They reincarnate not because they must or stay in a low position on the wheel of life, but because they have “made it” and are here to show the rest of us the path of kindness that will bring us all home.

the_dalai_lamalargeRemember, Buddhism is a personal path of study and learning about mastery of self  and about personal attitudes, it is not a religion, it does not address in any way if there is a G-d in the heavens, it is about you taking responsibility for your actions and learning to live a better way. You are free to believe in God, it does not interfere with being a Buddhist also, you may be a Taoist, (pantheistic belief in compassionate living, a Christian, a belief in g-dman that “saved” you; a Jew, a monotheistic belief in compassionate living, or any other belief system you choose. It is easiest if you choose a belief system where compassion is a chief cornerstone, so that you have no conflicts between your path and basic Buddhism.

It is the need to live in balance, called the Middle Way by the Buddha, that finds itself addressed in living a “detached” life that holds neither attachment to things or people so tightly that they cannot breathe, nor detachment from things or people so lightly that one forgets to be kind to all other beings. Finding that balance is not easy, but it is possible. HH Tenzin Gyatso, the dalai lama,  is a wonderful example. I bow to his teaching and mastery.

Courage and Wisdom ~

What I did not finish yesterday, because I got too wordy, is that Serenity is achieved via something the Buddhists refer to as detachment, but that implies an unhealthy lack of engagement in your surroundings. I have come to call this phenomenon compassionate disentanglement. You always maintain a caring attitude toward even those who would wrap you up in their melodramas. However, you maintain your own sacred space into which that melodrama cannot reach. This is not easy, as most of those who weave such melodramas are expert at wrapping others into their story.

One of the worst and most melodramatic is the victim, persecutor, rescuer triangle. This is a classic scenario and goes perfectly toward making to point of the Serenity prayer. The “victim” confides in you that he or she is in an abusive situation with another adult and is asking your advice, hoping you will help to find a way to rescue him/her. Many times the abuse is very real, and your heartstrings are twanging that this is simply not just. Most of all, if you are truly a spiritual being, your loving nature just can’t stand to see some one victimized in this way.

However, let me warn you. Should you come to the “rescue” and succeed in getting the abuser jailed or otherwise punished the “victim” will come to their rescue, and you will be the villain. Their storyline? “I didn’t mean for this to happen, I love “Henry”, I didn’t want him hurt.” And now you are the “bad guy”.

Remember the prayer, repeat it like a mantra. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” You and the victim can go to the public library, not your home unless this is someone you already know. Look up help for victims of violence, explore the websites with them and be supportive, but don’t be their “savior”.

You can get them counsel with appropriate officials who can help and also council the “victim” about their role in the melodrama. You can be supportive of them in this venture, for this is where they will need courage, as it is theirs to change and get out of the melodrama. That must come from within them; it is not something you can give them. If the person you are assisting backs away and doesn’t want to use this kind of help, dismiss the entire scenario from your mind, as it was not yours to help. (And indeed, might have been a setup to rob you.)

Do not, I repeat, do not go after “Henry”!

Always, as one who serves Spirit, be ready to help another find help of the right sort, but refrain from thinking of yourself in any saviorist role. You can connect others to the help they need, you can serve as a listening ear, with a loving heart. But the minute you are expected to take any action for or against a third party; start looking for places for them to get the help they need. This will, indeed, take more courage than giving “Henry” a black eye, but this is very much a part of discerning the difference between an area where you can help, and an area where you cannot. Have the Wisdom to stay compassionately disentangled.

There is another factor here. If you find yourself surrounded by this sort of melodrama, what are you doing to invite it? And if you are inviting it, are you doing so with the ability to lend a compassionate ear, or are you becoming embroiled in the melodrama, and therefore have become part of the problem?

This is why the 12 steps caution to look for what Spirit wants of and for you, not for you to go minding the sacred space of another. Most of us have had some form of dysfunction in our home lives. The rare ones are those who have not. Look to the needs of cleaning your own nest before you attempt to help your neighbor clean hers or his. When you read Y’shua’s caution on this, you think in terms of judgment, as that is the context of the comment, but it is important to remember that there is another facet to that gem.

You are not able to help others if you are still crippled by what you are carrying in your heart. Here, again, is where the “searching inventory” is necessary, in examining yourself daily, you can discern more readily what you can and cannot change. You will find that in communicating daily with Spirit, you will find the courage to change those things you can, and compassionately disengage from the scenario where you would only add to the problem. Another safeguard is to keep, always, a back-up. Someone human to whom you can talk that can help you stay objective so that you can do the most good, with the least amount of trauma to yourself or others.

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