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“Experience all things with the enthusiasm of a child, and like a child own nothing but the joy.”  – Zen

What or who are you possessing today? Is there an idea you are stuck on? Do you have certain expectations from someone or something? When they are not fulfilled, are you disturbed? Do you possess your spouse, your friends, your home, your way of thinking?

Possessiveness is ownership, but no one owns anything. We all have things, people, and places in our lives for a period of time. You might say we are all on borrowed time. When we leave the earth we take nothing with us, not even our bodies. So taking permanent ownership of anything is a sure way to suffer. Possessiveness never stops: the possessor needs more constantly. There is never enough money, or power, and people. The real fear behind possessiveness is insecurity. People constantly seek security and spend their whole life chasing it, only to find it is an endless train.

Worry, anxiety, behaving compulsively, and being in an unhealthy relationship with a friend, significant other, or coworker are all forms of attachment that cause stress. It is not easy to stop worrying about the present and the future, to cease feeling obligated to those to whom we really aren’t obligated, and to separate yourself from tasks and responsibilities that really belong to others. But, think how important it is in the world, to practice non-attachment to be a judge, doctor, editor, and teacher. Think of how necessary detachment is for them to do their work in a fair and effective manner.

Our ultimate personal growth and happiness truly depends on mastering to some degree the law of detachment. Some philosophies practice detachment by dismissing all desires while others practice detachment by honoring the sacred in everything. Find a method to avoid possessiveness and bring more peace in life. Constantly remind yourself to hold things lightly.

Below are some ways to help you ward off possessiveness:

1. Let go your ideas about others
Detach yourself from the ideas you have about your friends and family. Do no rigidly impose your ideals on others. Participate in activities without predetermining and outcome. One of the most constructive ways we can help others-be it a friend family or co-worker-is to allow them to make their own decisions. Their own choices, and their own mistakes, how else can we expect them to learn and become independent.

2. Relax your security
Accept uncertainty as an adventure knowing things always work out for the best in the end. Solutions can arrive in many forms when you allow yourself to go with the flow.

3. Embrace the unknown
Allow yourself to experience the mystery of life by allowing the magic to appear in your life from the unknown.

4. Practice Detachment
When you let go of attachments, there are no resentments, angers, cravings—no contentiousness—no reaching out of the mind with anxious tentacles to achieve some egoistic purpose in the world.

5. Challenge your ownership
Ask yourself these questions so you don’t become possessive. What am I possessing that is causing disharmony in my life? What needs do I have that are not being meet? How can I have peace with all the things I desire?

Excerpt from “Secrets To Life Book” by Chris Emmanuel
Book available at Chris Emmanuel Art Gallery (Sunbreeze Hotel) and Pages Book Store

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