We do not “belong” to each other, and nobody is “ours”
Everything is temporary and only on loan to us
My motorcycle is by far my favorite physical thing.
When people ask what I would save in a fire, I always clarify, “is the garage on fire, too?” And if forced to sell off everything I own, the motorcycle would be second-last to go (followed only by a single day’s worth of clothes.)
It would make sense for me to be afraid of losing it, and to try and protect myself from that risk.
But in reality, I have no control over that.
From Kusala Bhikshu (“motorcycle monk”):
I don’t really own [the motorcycle], I’m just using it until it’s taken away by theft, rust, accident, or my old age. It’s really more about not being attached to the stuff you use and think you own.”
The time that I spend with it is only in passing.
The more accepting I am of this truth, the easier it is to foster a sense of happiness that is independent of it. That way, my wellbeing isn’t impacted when these things inevitably change.
Possession and happiness conflict with — rather than support — one another
When things change — and they always will — those who thought social constructs meant “forever” in the eyes of the universe are left heartbroken.
Living a life trying to “own” others, or thinking they “owe” us anything, sets us up for loss.
But those who understand that everything — their partner included — is fleeting appreciate it in each moment they have.
Each element of your life is independent of you.
People are temporary and independent, too
Everything in the universe will change, and people are no exception.
Our relationships with everything in our lives is fleeting; we only have each moment and our own reaction to it. And any attempt to tether or tie — any imposition; any dominion — is fabricated and false.
Relationships give life such richness — the undercurrent of what gives our existence meaning.
But sometimes, we may start to lay claim over people and feel entitled to things (time, love, etc) that aren’t ours to grab. We come into relationships with a set of expectations around what we’re “owed” by love — and them — once they’re “committed” to us. We get big ideas of what that commitment means, and to what it entitles us.
We confuse “presence” for a promise of permanence.
Then we feel helpless and hurt when people choose to walk away. We are rendered devastated by divorce or death.
Nobody owes us anything, and we are not entitled to any part of anybody. We are only here to extend energy and appreciate what is freely offered — for the time it is offered.
Loving means living loosely. It means acceptance over attachment. It means allowing other human beings freedom of choice — not just once, but every day — and it means understanding that the universe ebbs and flows, and happiness is best found in lightness and moving with it.