Many of us are largely driven in life by an intention to gain ownership of a mechanism — be it God, money, substances, relationship(s), physical health, spiritual health, etc. — that we hope will bring us wellbeing.
Can you blame us? We come into this harsh world as small, defenseless babies against a big world that seems hell-bent on pushing us around and keeping us in line. Of course we grasp for whatever life-preserver we can to save us from the rising waters of life on our path to adulthood.
And in so doing, as a defense mechanism, we hammer into our psyches a very powerful root-belief:
I am separate from my good, so I need to ‘get it’ in order to be safe/certain/happy/blissful/numb/etc.
As long as the root-belief remains (I need to get/claim ownership of something/someone), it will always be so.
So you get the girl… But the root-belief stays.
You get the high-paying job… But the root-belief stays.
You get your confirmation from the Priest… But the root-belief stays.
You get your fix… But the root-belief stays.
Here’s the interesting thing… To own something is to be separate from it. There’s you and then there’s the thing you want to own.
Are you with me by seeing how much it would pay off to change this root-belief? Yes, it’s an illusion. We all have answered this ourselves on one level or another.
You get the car and realize… That’s not it.
You get the revenge and realize… That’s not it.
You moved in with the other guy and realized… That’s not it.
What if our root belief was something like this:
Wellbeing is the core of who I am. Although I’m human and I often forget this, I’m never apart from it. I need not gain ownership of it because it’s already there.
This way, if I find myself reaching for that life-preserver, I can remember this, and I can relax, and I can float.
Then I can swim to shore.
I’m not suggesting we should abandon the things that we’ve used as life preservers (although some of them, we probably should).
If you want to make a good living, do it. If you want the bigger house, have fun.
All I’m saying is that you should see them as outward expressions of your inner well-being, not the source of it.
Here’s the essence of what I’m getting at here:
By grasping and seeking ownership of our wellbeing through whatever means we see fit, we place ourselves apart from it.
As long as we do this, it will be so. Until it isn’t. And we put ourselves, once again, in the position of having to reawaken to the fact that our wellbeing just… is.
No ownership necessary.