As I rushed around, frantically grabbing the final presents. I couldn’t help but wonder why I always ended up in this chaotic situation.
Every year, I promised myself that I would be more organised and avoid leaving everything to the last minute. But here I was, on Christmas Eve, stuck again in the dreaded traffic with all the other last-minute people like me!
Just as I was about to pull out of the crowded car park, my phone rang.
“There is water pouring through the kitchen ceiling,” came the panicked voice on the other end.
I knew I wasn’t far from home, so I suggested go upstairs and speak to our neighbour if the situation was dire.
In my mind, though, I was silently cursing for yet another unfortunate turn of events. The washing machine had completely stopped working earlier that day too!!!
Finally, I arrived home to a disheartening sight. The kitchen was flooded, and the ceiling looked far from stable. However, amidst the chaos, a memory from earlier in the day resurfaced.
A bleak Christmas in Gaza
While waiting in an excruciatingly long line to pay for presents. I was scrolling like you do these days and stumbled upon a headline that caught my attention: “A bleak Christmas in Gaza.”
It wasn’t your typical Christmas story about Bethlehem and the nativity. Instead, it detailed the struggles of a Christian family camping in a church, desperately trying to survive in war-torn Gaza.
Here I was buying presents, ready to indulge in the festivities, while he was trying to survive, like many of the tens of thousands displaced. It left me feeling sickened and disheartened.
Whenever I encounter stories like these or tune into the news, I find myself entering a state of detachment.
I think my mind instinctively shields itself from the overwhelming pain and suffering that exists not so far away, creating a protective barrier between me and the harsh realities of our broken world.
In the article, it wasn’t the bombing or safety issue that was most stressful for him, but the thought of surviving and what would happen to him and his family.
There was nothing left in Gaza, no homes, no jobs, no community! I questioned myself, detachment is a luxury we have in the West, to switch off or look the other way,
But, I also wondered if it was a helpful response to traumatic experiences or overwhelming stress?
Detachment vs Disassociation
Detachment is the act of separating oneself emotionally or mentally from a person, situation, or outcome.
It involves letting go of attachment to expectations and outcomes, and accepting things as they are.
Dissociation is a psychological defence mechanism that involves a disconnection between thoughts, feelings, memories, and identity.
Note the difference. Detachment allows you to maintain inner peace and emotional stability, even in challenging circumstances. It does not mean being indifferent or uncaring, but rather finding a healthy balance between involvement and detachment.
Dissociation serves as a coping mechanism to protect you from intense emotional or physical pain. It can manifest in various ways, such as depersonalisation (feeling detached from one’s body) or derealisation (feeling detached from the external world).
During dissociation, you may feel detached from reality, as if you are watching yourself from a distance or experiencing things as if in a dream. Unlike disassociation, which can also interfere with daily functioning and may require therapeutic intervention for resolution.
When practising detachment, you can cultivate resilience, reduce stress, and make clearer decisions based on your values and needs. Perhaps, detachment is a useful strategy, especially for the perfectionist superwoman, always last on the list of priorities?
If you need to make clearer, more value-based decisions, that will help sustain you in 2024, perhaps a tactic you will need in your toolbox?
Finally. I only have one big idea in 2024 and it is really very simple.
Let’s stop killing children. Period. #genocideisneverok