Photo: Vinay Shivakumar on flickr

Photo: Vinay Shivakumar on flickr

Dear Meli,

For a long time, I was totally enamored with spiritual life. Amazing things would happen in my life and I would be totally blown away. But now, I’m a lot more blasé about it all. Don’t get me wrong, my life is still great. But somehow, I don’t care. Things don’t impact me as strongly anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I’m depressed, but I don’t think it’s that. I think I’m just less attached. What do you think?

Duly Detached

Dear Detached,

Being healthily detached and being depressed can feel similar. I am not a therapist, but in my understanding, most depressed people would not say their life is great. So I am going to agree with the possibility that you are not depressed.

However, there is one additional possibility to consider. It doesn’t fit into either of the other categories you mentioned (depressed or detached). That is the possibility that you are grieving.

Grieving is a strange thing. It can look like so many different things. And it simply has to do its thing, and move on through us. If we try to bypass it, as so many of us spiritually- inclined folks tend to do, it will stick around and show up in a myriad of possible ways, none of which will seem to make sense.

This is because the grief has been repressed, and repressed emotion will show up somewhere, but not always as itself at first. It sometimes takes some digging to discover what’s actually being expressed.

That said, I have also had the experience of being so detached that I’ve wondered if I was depressed. Sometimes I’ve reflected on this and found myself grieving. Other times, I’ve discovered that I am adjusting to a new level of living life from the observer. It is a powerful thing to watch our minds, from this standpoint, interpreting life and our reactions to. Being in observer mode can create a sense of being removed from life, which may easily be interpreted as being blasé.

Here is what I would suggest if you’re blasé because of observer-overdose:

  1. Connect

Connect with someone you care about deeply. Ask them about themselves and practice the art of listening deeply, empathizing and connecting with them. Even as you stay aware of your observer, you can feel into their experience and connect there.

  1. Passion

Explore deepening your commitment to doing something you’re passionate about. Find your fire by engaging with a passion.

  1. Pray

Ask for, and imagining being able to walk through life with, a high degree of the observer present, while at the same time experiencing being fully engaged, present and alive.

  1. Animals

If you have a pet, spend some quality time with them. If you don’t, consider getting one or spending some time with someone else’s.

  1. Help

Of course, talking to a professional can always make a huge difference. Never underestimate the transformative and clarifying power of therapy!

  1. Routine

Consider changing up your routine, if you have one. Sometimes this is all it takes to shake things up enough to bring you present. All your good lies in the present.

Thanks again for writing. Let me know what you decide or how things shift for you as you continue to explore this.

Meanwhile, Blessings and Love to you in all you do,


What is your experience with detachment and spiritual practice? Share your comments below!

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