Monday’s Meditation: On What Belongs To You
We live in a world where so much emphasis is placed on belongings to define identity. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but is does beg the question: what belongs to you?
My work is about freeing people from the allure of infinite options, about bringing a sense of priority to the stuff of their lives, so that in the end their belongings truly reflect who they are and what they need and desire.
But even then–even when a person has edited and streamlined and taken great lengths to ensure their belongings serve a purpose–do those things really belong to them?
It isn’t morbid but merely true to say that we are nothing more than the stewards of our material belongings. Those clothes, that car, that house, they don’t really belong to you. I know what you’re saying, “Hell yes, they do! I bought them! I’m in possession of a deed! It’s all signed on the line which is dotted!” And you’d be right, of course.
But then, papers get lost or torn or superseded. Cars get sold and resold and houses too; someday one long time from now someone might stand in your carefully renovated kitchen and ponder aloud what on earth could have driven you to install a ventless range, or cherry red cabinetry.
You won’t take these things with you when you go, and they may be yours, if only for now.
The same goes with your money, your investments.
Your children belong to you, but only in that way that parents jokingly claim offspring who have gone rogue in the cereal aisle of the grocery store.
“So sorry, those belong to me.” Dad will say, collecting the small humans while doing his best to kick cinnamon Life squares out of view of the store manager.
But soon children grow, they start to have a mind of their own, to be fully separate, feeling, thinking beings.
Your spouse belongs to you, but then, not really. Because partnership is not one-directional, and anyhow, you really can’t claim people as belongings.
Your social standing certainly doesn’t belong to you. It rests in the hands of people outside you, who will draw whatever conclusions they may about your decisions.
There is only one thing that really and truly belongs to you and that’s Your Life.
Your life is at your whim, it takes direction from you alone, it is loyal until the end.
Your Life; your choices, your work, your relationships, your priorities, your legacy. That’s what belongs to you.
So the real question is: do you own it?
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