My Photo

« Oh, may they hear me calling (update) | Main | You detect me »

May 08, 2005


Richard Lawrence Cohen

Thank you for another searingly confessional post, and for your insight into the question of detachment versus attachment. The type of psychotherapeutic separation you're struggling toward is at first glance very different from Buddhist detachment, but underneath they have similar goals: an openminded compassion for others and for ourselves. And yet we should also love others as ourselves. This is the unending balancing act that the greatest see-ers into human nature have assigned us. By sharing your painful efforts, Tamar, you inspire all of us who read you.


Tamar, thank you so much for quoting me and resonating with what I felt. Biggest warmest bone-crushing hugs to you.


I always hear a person's secret cry. For the last few years, I have dedicated myself to a nonjudgmental stance. I think constantly judging others and questioning their motives led me to anger. Now that I've changed my thinking, the anger is gone. I can detach myself easily because I'm more focused on self preservation now, and being honest with myself.

I remember having a conversation with two people. One was telling tall tales about himself. Things untrue but easily verifiable. I used to challenge these people and get angry because someone dared tell me lies to my face, now I don't care.

I realized that people telling tall tales about themselves, bragging about things that don't exist, or putting others down to look good, are all secretly crying. The lies and bragging may irritate me, but I can recognize it for what it is. I don't pity them, but I do hear their cry and empathize with them.


Richard, your words moved me in all sorts of ways. Thank you.

Natalie, those are just the kinds of hugs I adore. So I accept! (and return in kind)

Nappy 40, that understanding and detachment sounds good for you. It is difficult to realize that so many people are secretly crying, isn't it? The saddest part for me is that it is more often than not hidden from themselves.

I guess that could be described as understanding the human condition.


This post was exactly what I needed to read this morning, Tamar. I've been having trouble dealing with a situation/person that makes me angry, and your words helped me to put it in perspective. :-)


Alicia, I am glad it was helpful for you. Smiles on a new day!


Tamar, I'm sure you will look back on this time as important and necessary and be glad that you went through it, and faced up to it, and made the effort to think it through and write it down and share it in a way that resonates with lots of us out here.

I usually feel convinced that a sabbatical is the one thing in the world that I would most like. But I also know it's not that simple and that even while I moan about the daily round it's often what saves me from myself, renews me even while it is depleting me.

Why are we so complex? I suppose on balance it is worth being complex. Sure doesn't always feel that way though.

I think you pinpoint something very important here - the delicate dance of separation and empathy, oneness and respect...


Alicia, I wanted to add one more thing to my reply to you. For me, having empathy doesn't mean excusing a person's bad behavior or accepting it as appropriate. It means understanding the human condition in its complexity. For me the detachment helps me see that it's not always about me. It's someone else's hidden (even to themselves) cry or pain. And then I have a choice about what to do with the understanding.

Jean, I simply love how you say that, "the daily round ... renews me even while depleting me." That's what I truly miss about not working outside the home! But even though I complain and moan about this *wretched* "forced sabbatical" period, I am really cherishing deeply what it is doing for me. When I am back at work (and *if* I continue blogging), and start complaining about missing the sabbatical, I hope you will be there to remind me about this challenging time! Thank you for letting me know it resonates with you. That is a true gift for me.

Richard Lawrence Cohen

Looking back at these comments, I'm overwhelmed to realize that they're by five people whom I didn't know six months ago, and now I feel close to them all, I learn from them and to some extent depend on them -- I feel I know them in a real, meaningful way even though I've never met any of them and may never. A way of knowing people that did not exist a few years ago. The specific things you all have said make a firm impression on me, but what goes even deeper is the fact that we're all here.


Richard, I agree. I think we're all very different, but have something in common.

The comments to this entry are closed.