I have been reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. I am a huge Tolle fan – The Power of Now is forever on my bedside table (I admit it, I am a self-help reading freak. Self help books, dark chocolate, anything fried and a good bottle of wine, and I am a happy girl).
Anyway. As I was saying, I am reading this book. There is an interesting section on how we identify with things and how much of our self-worth is tied up in stuff. I got a little uncomfortable when I was reading it and saw myself in phrases like "Do certain things induce a subtle feeling of importance or superiority?" OF COURSE NOT! How DARE he….well, ok, so that might be a wee bit true. Yikes. And then I thought about it – let me put this in perspective…I am tying my SELF WORTH, my view of myself and my hope of how others view me to something like a pair of SHOES? To an apartment? To the kind of vacations I take?
Wow. Live with that for a moment. I did not even say tying my personal happiness to those things, I said self worth.
It’s at moments like this (huge embarrassment for my own grand crassness) that I think about Mother Teresa and folks like that. There are people in this world who give tirelessly. Would I like to be like them? Would I be happy giving up my attachment to THINGS and giving back? I say to myself "Of course, but I can’t. I have obligations."
Horse Dooky. I could be like them – it’s a matter of choice. It’s not that I "can’t" be like them, I choose not to. For the most part in life, I have found whenever I hear myself saying "Oh I CAN’T do that" I need to reassess and acknowledge that of course I can, but I have chosen not to.
I am a fan of awareness. I don’t always like what I find when I am truly aware, but I do feel authentic. Self delusion has no place in the authentic life – to deal with reality one must face reality. I think this means challenging myself when I say "can’t" to say "choose". It also means I need to be really honest about the use of the word "my" ("my shoes", "my psoriasis", "my headache", "my necklace" can sometimes also mean "my accomplishment", "my victimhood", "my need to be pitied", "my wealth").
This is easier said than done, and can feel a dangerously holier than thou. But done right and thoughtfully, I hope these efforts will lead to less attachment and more honesty. More reality.