The Delusion of Ownership & Belonging

How did I ever find it romantic to hear the words “I am yours”, “you are mine”, “I want you to be mine”? I truly did, and trying to understand what meaning I attached to such phrases, is what allows me to decipher why I did.

Besides being the recipient of these words, I must have also said them. So what does this imply? I know we do and say things from our level of consciousness, so if I found it appealing to hear these words at a certain point in my life, it could be that they gave me a sense of security, a feeling of comfort, to belong to another, pure bliss… If I uttered these words to someone, it must have given me a sense of power, some level of control, to have something, to call it my own, to not share… in essence; there was a “void” that needed to be “filled up”?  

Nothing about these words felt strange, because they are of course expressed & felt ever so gently, and are well meant. The state of consciousness at that point is such that we do not question what unknowingly lies beyond these ideas, because we have no conscious knowledge of how they form the basis for what eventually unfolds. As well, we have grown up to find them normal and have gone on to perpetuate them further as automatic expressions that accompany love. 

This is not only about our romantic relationships, but any of our close interactions and bonds that we forge. We are attracted or drawn into close relationships of whichever kind (lovers, friends, parents, children…), to learn and grow. These relationships are intimate, providing an opportunity for us to be vulnerable, authentic and all things raw. This is where our angels shine and our demons get flung out and we have to face up to our shadows. This we do, at different times in our different lives, depending on our stage in the journey of self-discovery.

These relationships end up knotted in painful tensions, hanging by a thread or they altogether drift into oblivion as a result of the push and pull of the control dynamics that arise because we act like people owe us their decisions or that they require our permission. Thing is, it’s all rosy when it’s working out ~ when we are conforming to expectations set for us. Because we are still not being mindful, these expectations may not be voiced out and often, we may even not know what exactly we expect from someone, until they do something that makes us realise we actually have conditions that “tie” them to us.

Being highly diverse spirits who express in a myriad of ways, we are bound to at some point, test, strain and even burst the bubble. A bubble that was created so subtly, one layer overlapping another, and another, until it cements into a concrete messy situation that can only be resolved by a big strong hammer I think, or anything that can break up concrete ~ an obviously hectic but necessary and inevitable process.

But when I perceive this consciously, or from a detached perspective, where my ego or logic is not very involved, it seems to me that the reason we want to belong or possess people is because of a kind of a natural protectiveness, where we don’t want to lose them or are afraid that they will lose themselves and by extension, break up our identity, that is enmeshed up with theirs… Dig a little bit deeper into this and it becomes evident that there is an aspect of fear at play here as well as a projection of our own issues onto others. By now, I have learnt that anything deriving from fear is to be paid attention to, not so much as to feed into it, but to go beyond the illusion and into the truth.

In reality, we actually cannot own or belong to anyone; this is a convenient illusion, even for me, unless I maintain a conscious outlook. We are of ourselves, our partners are of themselves, and so are our children. Children especially, are the souls we really have a hard time understanding how they do not belong to us. Unlike our romantic partners or our friends whom we met somewhere along our journeys, we feel like we chose to have our children and we brought them into the world. I know I have heard people say to their child “I brought you here, so you have to do what I say”. Sounds like control and manipulation to me… I however really acknowledge that people are for the most part, not intentionally manipulative when they act this way. It is from a state of being unaware, unconscious…  

Think of when a long-time single mother tells her sons that she now wants to get married, think of a 40 year old guy telling his parents he does not feel the need to get married. Think of a 30 year old woman telling her friends she isn’t interested in having children. Think of a boy telling his father that he is gay… Now also think of the reactions these revelations elicit…All these people are aware of who they are and how they want to live their lives. How is it that we bypass their happiness for our own ease? Whether we perceive them as “lost” or “selfish” or even that we highly disagree with their lifestyles and choices, being mindful calls for us to let them be. More often than not, we are only projecting our own life issues into the situation. We feel like they are making a huge mistake and we want to save them. As noble as this might feel or sound, it is important to remember that it is through “mistakes”, essentially “experiences”, that we learn. We need the lessons, and no one is anyone’s saviour. This by no means implies ignoring a call for help or guidance… or intervening in abusive situations.

Owning equals being owed, and this is not a liberated state. It means somehow, your ability to be content is at the whims of another and vice versa. Either way, we are either burdening ourselves or others. But if we perceive our interactions with others as free, we let go and we release the suffering associated with this, as to control or give away your power is to suffer. We let people be, and they let us be. We do not interfere with their journeys, unless called upon to. We allow them to share themselves or parts of themselves or their lives with us and we do the same, without passive obligations, but out of pure free will.

The idea of owning or belonging is looking at people from the lens of our fears, abdicating our responsibilities and exercising control…a highly disempowered state. Being conscious and changing our mindset around this will ease us into learning, growing, healing and eventually, thriving!


~ Stay Conscious ~

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  1. Hi Angie, I want to take the time to thank you for a very insightful article. It gave me much joy to read it and reason to reconsider how i act towards others.

  2. Hi Lance, thank you very much for the appreciation. I’m glad you found it insightful and of service ??

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