How much of your life is spent maintaining and guarding possessions? What do they mean to you? Can you see yourself without them? Picture yourself without one-third of your possessions. Without half of them. Without three-quarters of them. Mentally choose which ones you might jettison. How do these images make you feel?
When you were a young child, possessions weren’t viewed as permanent but were used to explore, experience, and let go of. Your joy was in using and sharing more than in owning. Once we become adults, though, we don’t want anyone else to touch our things. One floor in our office building is only for the president, the executive vice president, and the executive secretary. Everyone else is kept out. But the president, the executive vice president, and the executive secretary may not be as well off as you might imagine. They may get their identities from their titles and from the fact that they have their own floor—but they may not be any happier for it, or know who they really are.
What happens when you cease to base your identity on what you have? You find other things more meaningful, things you can’t possess to give you happiness—like a sunset, a meaningful conversation with a friend. Without so many permanent possessions to keep you locked in to your old identity, you’re freer to experiment with new jobs, new activities, new environments for living, new people. I truly believe that unless you are able to separate yourself from unnecessary possessions, you will never find true pleasure or see the beauty in this world.
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