It’s MY house…


Or is it?

We speak so possessively of our homes and our things. “This is my house.” “This is my couch.” “Molly is my dog.”  As if the house, couch or dog were really ours to own.

Even if you built the house yourself stick by stick, if you built it well it will live long after you’ve moved on. Someone else will call it “my house.”  The couch existed before you bought it and you hope will be useful to a new owner after you’re done with it.  And think about it:  is your dog really yours?

As I try to loosen my attachment to “my” house and “my” things, it seems helpful to step back from the whole possessive pronoun description of it all.  Many languages describe our relationship to stuff quite differently – “the house of me” – which is more like “the house I’m in relationship with” than something that I have dominion over and is part of me.

Before I came to live in the house of me, which was built in 1972, three other families lived here. After I move out, other families will consider it theirs. And I hope they treat it with the reverence I feel for it.

Thinking of myself as just one in a line of people who live here for awhile, (slightly) eases the pain I feel knowing I must relinquish the house sooner than later.  And I can even rejoice that “my” books will soon be the books of new readers.

After all, in the grand scheme of the universe and over an infinite period of time, me, my house and my stuff   are barely specks.



Filed under Attachment - Vairagya, Downsizing, Emotional issues, Inspiration & encouragement

4 responses to “It’s MY house…

  1. A very astute observation, Joy.

    A challenge I’ve been working with on the metaphysical side of things is questioning the ownership of self. My mind? If so, why can’t I make it do what I want? My body? If so, why can’t I control its relentless pursuit of self-destruction?

    Hmmm, I wonder what I could get for my mind on eBay? I suppose it would depend on how I packaged it.


  2. OMG Paul… you’ve gone where angels fear to tread. Who IS the owner of my mind?

    Perhaps its recalcitrance would be easier to understand if I could point a finger at someone else and say “YOU made me do it.”

    Oh wait. I’ve already made that accusation a million times, and responsibility always comes back to me. And yet it’s obvious I’m out of control.

    Who IS in charge here, anyway?

  3. Splodge!

    They’ll always be your memories.

  4. Yes. If I can remember…

    just visited my mom this weekend (she lives with my sister in Nashville) and her memory is good for approximately the past 30 seconds. She no longer misses my dad because she’s forgotten he existed, except when she sees photos.

    At least she seems to enjoy the present moment.

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