GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#75 — July 1, 2018

Detachment is not that you should own nothing. But that nothing should own you.

— Ali ibn abi Talib

Greetings, Inspired Seekers!

As an Interfaith Minister, much of my work involves transformation or change. Change in many things — change of heart, change of mind, change of consciousness. Sometimes these changes seem more like shifts but, whichever word is more appropriate, our being is altered.

The more I practice, stumble and get back up, the more I realize the vital role detachment plays in our growth and development. In the Buddhist tradition, detachment is seen as “giving up the world and leading a holy life.” It is similar to the Christian guidance to be “in the world but not of it.” Many of the other faith traditions hold to the same value. Why?

Perhaps, when we do not detach, the object of our attachment becomes too precious and we become a bit too self-centered. And that center is what directs us — for better or worse. Deep transformation, real change of heart or mind, moves that center point. And when our center moves, we are thrown off balance. We need to re-learn how to walk in the world; how to live; how to be.

When our center shifts, we make new choices. We see the world differently and our priorities change. From a spiritual perspective, this deep transformation is an experience of the Soul — with a capital S — and when that shift happens, everything changes. We have a new center of balance.

I believe that this center transformed always leads to deeper connections with the world and to a life of serving. It leads us to be in closer relationship with others. And it leads us into a life more generous, more humble, more grateful. We see the largeness of the world and the very important but very small part we play in it. We act out of love and compassion rather than out of a need to be better than.

As I continue my own spiritual work, I am honored and privileged to walk with others on their paths; to learn and grow as I help them find their new center in this ever expanding world. We are all changing hearts and minds and we must begin by changing our own, finding a new balance and walking in the world in a new way. Doing our best, open to new perspectives and detached from the preciousness of our own work.

Grace-Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: I walk in the world centered on compassionate connections.

The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington can be reached at and welcomes you as a spiritual companion on the road to change.