3 Things You Can Do for Someone You Love (Besides Leave them Alone)

So, they want to go swimming in icy waters? Just let 'em.

So, they want to go swimming in icy waters? Just let ’em.

Heard on the street about that difficult-to-define word, detachment.

DETACH.

Don’t Even Think About Changing Him/Her.

That is what detachment means. It’s either your business or none of your business. We can’t jump in and turn the screws in someone’s head. We can’t get them to see our point of view, and the harder we try, the more we make a mess of things. That’s when we need to detach. What does it mean?

We stop reacting to everything other people say.

We learn to answer in simple, almost banal language. The five great responses:

Mmmmm.

I’ll think about it.

You may be right.

Mmmmmm.

Oh. Oh? Ohhhhh.

One time my son Ari came running to me to tattle tale that his older brother did something.

“Ohhhh?” I said.

He said, “Yes, oh!”

It’s easier to detach from a stranger or an acquaintance; so much harder when it’s our loved one. But we need to remind ourselves that we can’t change ’em. As my southern friend, Elaine, used to say, “Just pray for them, honey.”

So that’s two. Detach and pray. The third thing you can do is remember that love means:

Letting Others Voluntarily Evolve.

We can love people and not try to change them. It’s up to them. As it says in the revised serenity prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.

 

Letting Others Voluntarily Evolve.

We can love people and not try to change them. It’s up to them.

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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11 Responses to 3 Things You Can Do for Someone You Love (Besides Leave them Alone)

  1. Tom Scott says:

    Perfect timing. Thanks Diana

  2. RHo says:

    I guess I have a different point of view on this. I don’t believe in forcing one’s perspective on anyone. However, if I saw someone doing something that would hurt themselves based upon something similar I had gone through or observed, I might ask for their permission to share another perspective and if they say yes, I would ask, “Have you taken into account/considered that…” But I try not to tell anyone what to do- people do have to learn their own lessons. And besides, I think people know what they want to do anyway…Thanks for another interesting post!!!

    • dianabletter says:

      Good suggestion, Rhonda. I also never give advice or criticism – only insights and suggestions! And as my friend Si says, “I never give advice because I’m scared someone will take it!”

  3. shlomie singer says:

    Great post!
    Yes, oh!!!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  4. haiatsuk says:

    דיאנה. תודה רבה.כתבת מאד יפה ונכון. שבת שלום. חיה.

    נשלח מהטלפון הנייד של Samsung

    ——– הודעה מקורית ——–מאת: DIANA BLETTER תאריך:05/02/2015 15:06 (GMT+02:00) אל: haiatsuk@zahav.net.il נושא: [New post] 3 Things You Can Do for Someone You Love (Besides Leave them Alone)

  5. You always provide such words of wisdom, Diana. Pray changes all. 🙂

    • dianabletter says:

      Hi Tracy, You said it- if we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. Thanks for your comments, as always!

  6. חיה צוק says:

    תודה דיאנה. יפה מאד. חיה

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