Thursday, January 2, 2014

I own nothing

It is a new year, and a new beginning. And I can’t begin to tell you how much 2013 made me want to retch. Of course, there were little pieces of candy that made the year come with its own happy moments, moments that I think I will be grateful for, all my life.

My biggest lesson from 2013 that goes with me into 2014 and beyond is that I own nothing. My identity, my experiences, my memories, my time, my loved ones, my enemies, my battles, my struggles, my happiness, my grief, my anger, my guilt, my naiveté, my cunning, my rudeness: I think I own it, but the fact is, I don’t. There’s a tiny aperture between birth and death, and we call this funny game Life. And try as we might, we own nothing here. We come with nothing, and we go with nothing, and all we have is this chance to spend some time in between. What for, I don’t know, and for how long, remains a big question.

 Maybe my grandmother’s passing inspired this – you might see that many of my past posts have been heavily embedded in the material side of existence, and this might seem, what’s the word – whiny philosophical? But I guess this is a useful lesson worth taking in tow. If I learn, accept and realise that I own nothing, I am actually setting myself free. 

If I know I own nothing, then nothing can make me angry, for possession in something is what makes one angry.
If I know I own nothing, then nothing can make me sad, for disappointment comes when you set ownership and expectation in stone. 
If I know I own nothing, then nothing can make me jealous – for nothing that is not mine can be another’s. 
If I know I own nothing, then nothing can make me guilty – for nothing is expected of me. 

And the absence of all this will put me in a place of bliss. Not happiness, bliss. And there’s a big fat difference, it appears. We’ve lost sight of what happiness truly means – because today, happiness is in an iPhone, in a ‘like’ on Facebook and in paycheques. Bliss is when I don’t care, really, and I’m happy in that carefree space.

So here's what I'm going to try doing: Letting go. 

But this is not to mean that altruism does not have a role to play. We have a duty to not hurt, and to do a little more than just think of ourselves. And here’s what I want to find myself with at the end of each day: The knowledge that at least one person smiled because of me; A clean conscience and Peace.

And I wish for you, the same, every day of the year.