What do you own?
What do you have control over?
What are you responsible for?
What's in your garage, your closet, your basement, the nook above your fridge?
We often try to feel secure by what we “own.” Being mindful has made me poignantly aware of the stories that are attached to having all these things. “I might need that someday.” “Well, that was expensive. I shouldn't get rid of it.” (Notice the word should in there.) “If I get rid of that, I might have to replace it someday.” “I remember when I bought that. What a great memory.” “So-and-so gave that to me. If I get rid of it and they ask me about it, what will I say?” (How about the truth?)
All these things are padding our egos and weighing down our spirits. When we're not in touch with our inner self, we identify with things to feel whole. Ironically, having all these “things” to take care of saps us of our resources. It' takes time and energy to move them, think about them, clean them, maintain them, store them… when we could be living our incredible lives instead.
So if we buy and hang on to things to try to feel complete, we're actually saddling ourselves with more stories of incompleteness. “When this happens I'll use that.” “If I don't have that, I don't know what I'll do.”
These are all lies of the ego, stories of the past and future that we don't have to buy into, that we don't need to feel whole and live amazing lives.
So how to we feel whole and complete without all that stuff?
1. Recognize your inner abundance.
It's safe to say that the more you have, the less abundant you feel. We “gather” to try to make up for a “lack.” We want to increase who we are by what we have or own. Thankfully, changing our minds from lack to abundance isn’t difficult. Just remind yourself that you have everything you could possibly need already inside you. Your spirit knows this is true- and when you remind yourself, there is no valid argument from the ego. You are whole, period.
A great way to never forget is to do a daily gratitude list. Have fun with this! The more you’re grateful for, the more you see the natural abundance already in your life.
2. Shine light on the fear created by our stories.
“I might need that someday” is the story of an imagined future. Sure, you might be in a situation where that obscure thing will come in handy, but don't you think you'll have the resources to get it then, if that's the case? When we identify the fear behind hanging on to something, it dissolves. The next time you find yourself hanging on to something or wanting to buy something you don’t need, ask yourself what the fear is behind not having it.
Then have a good laugh at your ego, because it’ll come up with some great stories to get you to do things!
3. Be honest about what you need and want.
We all want to feel loved, happy and whole. Everything we own and buy comes from this desire. Ironically, nothing we have can ever make us whole – they’re just stories we’ve created to make us feel a little more confident.
Take a moment to remember the times when you felt really alive. Chances are, you were with someone you loved or doing something you loved. Not only is this what we truly need, but when we’re honest with ourselves, it’s what we really want as well. We don’t want a bigger house or a fancier car- our egos do. What we want is to be loved and accepted by others- and our egos will try to convince us that having more stuff will get us that love and acceptance.
When you’re preoccupied with things, pay attention. You’re hanging out with the ego. Our spirits, our true selves, are not interested in things at all! We want to love, connect, play. When you find yourself preoccupied with something, turn your focus back on yourself and remember that you are whole already.
4. Give others what you really want, and you’ll get it back.
When we give others love and acceptance for who they really are, when we spend quality time with our friends and families instead of our boats and basements, when we have adventures and experiences with others instead of shopping with our brains turned off- we actually receive back exactly what we’re truly looking for in life. Others spend time with us and give us love and acceptance in return. Our lives take on new meaning and fun as we explore new things and create (even little!) adventures. And best of all, we weaken the hold our egos have on us and begin to live from the fullness and completeness of who we already are.
I’m doing some spring cleaning today, care to join me?
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Photo credit: Jakesmome on Flickr