Detachment vs. Loyalty

Posted on December 22, 2010


I know, I know...saddest image ever.


  • the action or process of detaching:  separation
  • indifference to worldly concerns:  aloofness
  • freedom from bias or prejudice
  • a state in which a person overcomes his or her attachment to desire for things, people or concepts of the world and thus attains a heightened perspective.


  • the quality of being loyal
  • feelings of allegiance
  • faithfulness or a devotion to a person or cause

I am a fiercely loyal individual, but that has often put me in difficult situations:  fistfights, disappointments, court rooms, embarrassing situations, arguments, and sometimes a broken heart.  I often react blindly when something I love is put in harm’s way.  My natural reaction is to defend it, fix it, or save it.  These loyalties fall into six main categories:  My faith, self, family, country, close friends, and lovers.  Several sub-categories fall under those main themes and their priorities often change positions.  Sports teams, my current or past hometowns, my current employer, my government, and other very important things in my life fall off into the outer rings of my loyalty atom.

As I move further into my journey of exploring the process of detachment, I find myself stuck with this question:  Will my loyalties hinder my process of attaining complete freedom? After all, that is the goal.  I want freedom, clarity, wisdom, and enlightenment.

I can’t imagine my life without my Christian Faith.  My body can move forward without it, but my soul would disappear.  My family means the world to me as well.  Without them, I would have been lost in the world.  I would do anything for them.  My country is responsible for the beginning of my education, my freedom, and my safety.  I will always defend it.  My closest friends fit inside a minivan and I would drive it to the ends of the earth with them.  When in love, I move my woman ahead of many other priorities, but also make sure to look out for myself and my well-being.  With that said, what can I do without? If my goal is to do more with less, then what loyalties must be prioritized, compromised, or removed?

Everything can be lost.  Everything can die inside of us.  Our allegiances and our love can fade.  What we can’t control is the love we receive and it is other loyalties towards us that brings that love. I have been fortunate enough to receive love from several sources and if it wasn’t for that love I would be in a much darker place right now.  There was a time when I lost my faith in God, but He did not lose faith in me.  It just took me a while to see that light again.  My friends and family did not lose faith in me either.  They brought me back to life when I couldn’t do it myself and I am grateful for that.

Loyalty has kept me afloat in life.  I understand that I must let go of my attachment to certain things in order to find complete freedom and I will do my best to find balance, but there are some things I am not ready to compromise.  Our love can sometimes be an anchor.  I have learned that lesson.  There are times when we hold ourselves back in order to help others.  That is compassion.   It can be an inconvenience to our original plans in life, but without it, we truly are alone in the world.  I don’t want to feel like I am alone.  I want to embrace and be embraced by nature and humanity.

My reasons for detaching myself from the things I have given up already are so that I can eventually get to the core of myself.  I want to have a better understanding of what I really want and need in life.  When I look inside myself, I find that I am not alone.  There are voices, images, lessons, and a lot of love inside of my heart.  I am a happier person because of that.  Perhaps one day I will feel differently, but as of right now, I am going to focus my detachment on other outside influences.  I can’t break away from the loyalties that have given me life.

Posted in: My Path