I also appreciate your comment regarding acknowledging attachment and living with it, rather than denying it and feigning enlightenment. Though I have much studying to do, nothing I've read yet has offered this type of unproscriptive advice. Most authors - even in the so-called beginners books - intimate "Get off your ass and get enlightened," which is very intimidating.
The Dharma, as I understand, begins with understanding our real state and acknowledging it, and not having fantasies about samsara or ourselves. Dharma is not an all or nothing venture. It is progressive, and one only has to practice as much if it as one understands.
For example, you are not ready to drink the Buddhist koolaid and buy rebirth, karma, and so on hook line and sinker -- you may not even really beleive in awakening. But what you can believe is your own experience, and the painfulness of desire, hatred and ignorance, as well as the joyfulness that connection with other sentient beings can bring.
The Buddha's own advice for people who were not able to adopt his perspectives about rebirth and karma automatically is that they focus their attention on cultivating loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and ultimately, equanimity.
Once, in response to a statement by Shariputra that friendship was half of the life of a Dharma practitioner, Buddha replied that was incorrect, friendship was the whole of the life of a Dharma practitioner. Thus, cultivating loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity are Dharma practice and relationships forged on these bases are deeply fulfilling and satisfying. Not only that, any relationship, positive or negative, one presently is in can be immensely transformed by these four cultivations. Positive relationships are enhanced and deepened, negative relationships will weaken their grasp and one will come to a place of evenness regarding other people's suffering afflictive behavior, an eveness suffused with genuine care for others along with a sharp recognition of one's own limitations around helping others. Equanimity is not indifference, it is recognizing what one is and is not able to accomplish.
In other words, we don't have to a) fix the world b) be emotional unavailable c) persist in unhealthy relationships -- instead we can slowly work at opening our hearts with love and compassion and work with where we are at the present moment without having to condition it with unattainable idealism.
Learning calm-abiding or shamatha meditation is very helpful, since this trains us in mental stability. Shamatha creates a container where we are able to see how the mind thrashes, bolts, revolts, jumps around and so on. It gives us a pillar through which to measure the rest of our experience. We do not have to begin with hour long sessions, we can sit for 5 minutes. Then 10. Then 15, and so on. Following the breath is an ideal practice for beginners as well.
Anyway, the main point is that Buddhist practice is not about waking up to some abstract "enlightenment". It is about knowing one's own state, right here and right now and working with that, along with various means to do so.
In short, understanding our present condition is Dharma practice, and it is the only Dharma practice we have.