And still, every time I’m floating free and cruising confident - when I find myself thinking “I’m sooo cool, I don’t care what THEY think or THEY do, I don’t care about all this STUFF! I’m gonna go live by myself in a treehouse in the woods and live off of berries and grass” - I’m quickly reminded just how attached I am to the comforts of existence. Also, eating grass makes me puke. Well, I’m guessing since it does that for dogs.
But really - we set ourselves up! Humans, I mean.
We think we own things.
We think “this is mine and that is mine and then, that over there, is yours.”
We think the people we love, places we stand in, and pieces we collect belong to us.
And so we build fat fences around these cherished consumptions.
We impose limits.
We enforce conditions.
We live in and create invisible playpens.
We dance around these prisons and keep a close watch on all of our toys.
But these things we grasp? They are not ours. They are just objects we have attached ourselves to, temporary timepieces we hold, personal energies we possess like stowaways on the train of our trajectory.
These items and ideas, these humans we carry with us?
The ones we project our happiness on, the ones we use to define our surface sense of self, the ones we allow to validate our existence?
Well, very often, they do not and can not rise to our expectations.
Very regularly, in fact, they deny us, disappoint us and completely disappear on us.
And why shouldn’t they?
“Free To Be You and Me,” right?
(Sidebar: that movie is awesome nostalgia. I own a copy and yes, you can totally borrow it)
And so of course, it would be - will be, has been to a degree, very much is in theory - wonderful.
To live independently, north of neediness, without parasitic attachment or the tendency to pocket the many pretty items on our paths.
It is, however, INCREDIBLY difficult to do this - all of the time.
Because… we’re human.
And we’re all just semi-blindly meandering around this place.
Pulsing, breathing bags of consciousness, dropped from the sky, drawn from the dust.
Feeling our way through uncomfortable situations.
Falling into each other’s arms.
Finding comfort in seemingly innocuous pleasures.
Really - NO ONE knows what they’re doing. No one has 100% freed themselves from the traps of attachment. The enlightened have, perhaps. But I don’t actually know any of these people. Do you?
It’s not easy. And like everyone else, I’m just trying to figure this shit out as I skip and sulk my way through - depending on the day.
But I did come across some new reassurance recently while I was pondering ideas of ownership and attachment. (Or, ok - feeling sad).
I was struck by this thought that found its way into my brain:
The only thing we ever really OWN… is our experience.
Our personal life experience - HOW we view what is happening, will happen, did happen. All we can ever, actually, truly own is how it felt, what it smelled like, how it tasted, what we heard - and what story we told ourselves about it.
All we can ever really have then is entirely dependent on the extent of our sensual openings. Our individual interpretation of outside stimulus. How AWAKE we are as we process this life that is constantly happening to, with and around us.
I mean, think about it. It’s true, right? The particular way you see and experience life is YOURS. No one else can ever really know your human experience the way you can. You can hint, you can describe, you can compare and connect, try to give it away, borrow and blend bits with others - but no, it’s still yours. Only yours. Forever… yours.
It’s quite comforting, actually. To know that when you are feeling lonely or not good enough, when you are feeling like you have absolutely no one and absolutely nothing - to remember that you are not alone. You are not without.
You always have that one thing you own: your life experience. Yourself. Your unique combination of cells and conceptual perception. And you two will never be separated.
It is always with you.
It belongs to you.
It is you.