We human beings are attached to attachment. We are attached to our thinking; our emotions; the way things and people ought to be. We are also attached to the norms and beliefs of the groups and organizations to which we belong.
We also can become attached to the outcomes we want to create and how they should look or turn out.
Attachment invariably leads us into the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ relationship roles and dynamics. Each role has its attachments. A Persecutor is attached to being right or dominating or, at least, being “one up” on the Victim. The Rescuer is attached to fixing or taking care of the Victim – or protecting them from a Persecutor. A Victim, sad to say, may be attached to… well, being a Victim and blaming the Persecutor for what they are not able to have, do or be.
But the opposite of attachment is not detachment. When we are detached, we give off an air of “I don’t care” and put no energy forward – or even withdraw it. The literal definition of detachment is: “lack of interest in or involvement with other people or with worldly concerns” and “disinterestedness.” There is no connection when we are detached.
As we seek to cultivate a life and relationships that are centered in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™ empowerment comes in learning and practicing non-attachment.
Non-attachment is the antidote to attachment. There is a “middle way” in which we can care – and stay connected – while not being attached to a particular way an outcome should look or how something or someone should be. Such an attitude is an important quality of being an effective Challenger and Coach. From both roles, if we see others as Creators in their own right, then they are responsible for the choices they make.
As a Challenger, we can suggest, give advice, offer feedback and observations. We can hold others as responsible and accountable (including, at times, their reaping the consequences of their choices). As a Coach, we can ask powerful questions of others to clarify their outcomes; discern the current realities they face; and/or commit to Baby Steps. If they don’t follow through, we can help them explore what was going on for them that led to not acting on the commitment. In either role, we do this without blame or judgment.
Even as a Creator, non-attachment can open up powerful possibilities we may not have originally envisioned. For instance, when David first began writing The Power of TED*, he assumed that the book would be non-fiction. However, as he worked with his editor, the fable format came into view. Had he been attached to a particular form, it would have resulted in a much different – and, we believe, less effective – outcome.
As we let go of our attachments of how others and things should be and cultivate the power of non-attachment we grow in our capacity as Creators, Challengers and Coaches.