The loneliness of Jesus on the cross is the best definition that I know of for Spiritual Detachment. Spiritual Detachment is the total negation of self. "All for you, God. Nothing but you, God." Do you see what manner of love gave himself up for our souls? When we are able to totally give of ourselves, no matter our wants, preferences, even our needs, we are becoming more fully human. The broken man counts up the cost before he gives his life away. Jesus does not.
This does not mean we have no boundaries or that we never say "no". But we may have to learn how to say "yes" in spite of our fears.
Jesus had boundaries, and he exercised wisdom in his interactions with others. And of course we know that he was wildly honest. We can learn to do this too. We can learn to rely only upon God for our well being and no earthly treasure, while at the same time laying down our lives for another.
We must not understand spiritual detachment to mean that we care for nothing in this world. Rather spiritual detachment is caring for everything in this world precisely as God cares for it and at the same time understanding that we are not in control of God's world.
"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me. I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes." Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book), 4th Edition, P. 417
There is a subtle intersection between acceptance and spiritual detachment. Whereas acceptance says, "I am not in control over this thing, but God is, I accept it, and I will be OK", spiritual detachment says "acceptance may cause me to suffer, or experience overwhelming joy, but I am willing to do it because I belong to God and not to this world".
Charlie is a mid-thirties guy who resides in sunny Florida with his small (but growing!) family. Charlie holds a B.A. in Religion and Apologetics and works in the financial services industry by day, writing about recovery, the Catholic Faith and Taming the Wild places in the human heart in his spare time. His writing has been featured in places like the Catholic stand, SpiritualDirection.com, Catholic Exchange and in print at Shalom Tidings. Charlie serves as the Managing Editor for Taming the Wilds and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.