Things (That Don’t Belong to You)

We own things. Some of the thing we have are expensive and some of the things aren’t. Some we’ve had for a long time, some are newer.

In reality all of the things we own are on a temporary loan, as nothing lasts forever.

A few years ago, I read a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I was looking to bring simplicity in my life, and thought that by getting rid of things I would discover simplicity and freedom. Because I was doing this tidying from the incorrect place (read: restlessness, anger, and the need to fix things that had nothing to do with the organization of my house) I actually got rid of too many things, and things that were actually useful in my life. This was not the first time I had done this. One year, through desperately trying to find happiness through minimalism, I got rid of all of our Christmas decorations.

There is principle of yoga called aparigraha. Simply put, this is non-attachment to items. It is also ceasing to look outside of yourself for happiness in other things (read also: other people, jobs, circumstances).

There are lots of things in the world that don’t belong to us. Some are more obvious than others: your friends husband/wife, that shirt at Nordstrom that you didn’t buy, someone else’s home, etc. There are somethings that don’t belong to us anymore that are less obvious: that waffle maker you never use, that relationship with a significant person that ended, a pair of jeans (or anything) that is 2 sizes too big that you’re saving, just in case. Even less obvious are old habits, beliefs, or ways of operating that either weren’t ours to begin with (beliefs we inherited from our parents, socioeconomic class, religion, etc) or served us for a time for a specific purpose, both of which are over.

Sometimes it feels challenging to get rid of things, especially if you feel obligated to get rid of them because you spent money on it, somebody special gave it to you, or you might need it in the future. When we own things that no longer belong to us (even if they did at a certain point), they drain our energy and our aliveness. This is what I was on the search for was more these things and I only scratched the surface of what I was holding onto of what didn’t belong to me.

What are things you need to get rid of? Where are you feeling stuck or held back in your life? Your physical, emotional, or mental space? Would it be possible to get rid of something so that you can experience something brand new?

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