Why Do You Feel Ownership Of Those You Love?
It starts very naturally, with the common language of "my wife, my husband, my children," etc. This way of speaking and thinking that we all use implies ownership.
But you also know that human beings don't own human beings...so it can be a little tricky to get this straight in your mind.
Let's look at how this develops:
- You naturally want to protect, and to some degree control what is yours.
- Everyone thinks and talks in terms of "my family," "my spouse," and "my children." In a sense, they are yours...but then not really.
- Children, for example, are in the custody of their parents, but you never hear anyone say that parents own their children.
- As the video above shows, you get a strong sense of attachment to what is "yours," and you get upset if someone tries to take it away. This is the basis of a lot of jealousy, by the way.
- Tremendous amounts of anger come from the confusion about this sense of ownership of those you love, and your feelings of your "rights," and your sense of entitlement.
You're a smart person. You know that you don't own anyone, even your children. Yet...I think you see what I mean about how this can be tricky and confusing, because of how we think and speak of "our" loved ones.
Self-awareness is key, and it's the first component of emotional intelligence. So be aware of this way of thinking and speaking that implies ownership, and keep it clear in your mind that each person you know and love is a sovereign being in her/his own right, and belongs to no one.
"Letting go doesn't mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force others to."
Ownership and attachment are all about holding on, clinging and control, and these can all lead to tremendous stress, fear and anger. As a matter of fact, the very worst cases of spousal abuse and child abuse come from the mistaken sense of ownership.
Accept that you are human, and that you will naturally get attached to those you love and care for. Understand that you don't own anyone, and make up your mind to love enough to let go.
The more joy, love and well-being you feel inside you, the easier it is to respect others and love them in a way that does not limit or restrict them.
This is key to a happy marriage, and absolutely essential to providing the kind of liberating love that your children need.
What Is The Solution To This Problem?
When you love someone, holding onto them and being afraid of losing them is totally natural and unavoidable. Don't be ashamed of this, just be smart about it, and make good choices.
There is nothing easy about letting go of someone you love, and it's not something you do only once. To keep love alive, you have to let go again and again.
Here are some things you can do:
- Be sure you're generating a lot of love, joy and well-being for yourself. This will automatically help you to let go of others more easily.
- Think of those you love, and how you want them to be free and happy. Be aware that you cannot provide this for them, and that they can only find it if they are uplifted, loved and released by those around them.
- There is generosity in your good heart. Meditate on this, and visualize yourself letting go with love.
- Focus on the brightest and best in those you love, and see them soaring freely in your mind's eye. Think of how much you love them, and how much you wish for them to find power and freedom within themselves.
You can do this. And as I mentioned, you don't just do it once. Love is letting go, again and
Remember how much you want and cherish your own freedom, and how much you appreciate those who love you and don't get in your way.
Create a joyful, fun, uplifting life for yourself, and wish the absolute best for all those you love.
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