Sunday, November 24, 2013

You only lose what you cling to

You only lose what you cling to.

This quote has popped up a lot in my life over the past two weeks.  The origin of this quote is unknown.  Some sources say Buddha said it, but others say it is one of many fake Buddha quotes.

Where the quote comes from is ultimately irrelevant, what is being said is more important to me.

I encourage you to take 5 minutes of silence  and think about what this quote means to you.  Form your own opinion of the quote before you read my interpretation of it below.  I would love to read your interpretation, so please leave it as a comment.

My interpretation

I thought about this quote in 3 sessions of 5 minutes each.  Each session was a few days apart.

First Session:

In the first session I related the quote to the physical world, to my attachment to physical possessions. 

Why is it hard for me to give away clothing?  I have too much clothing, that is for sure, but I only buy clothes I need and clothes I love.  Unfortunately the clothes I love I cannot wear to work and the clothes I need I don’t like wearing around the home because they do not reflect my personality.  So I am sitting with a double wardrobe, clothes I love but cannot wear and clothes I wear but do not love.  Logically, I should have given away the clothes I love because I cannot wear them on a daily basis anymore (and I really don’t need 5 sun dresses and 20 t-shirts if I can only wear them on the weekend), but I love them.  Why am I so attached to these clothes?

Clothing is just one example, there are many other things I own that I love, in fact I don’t buy anything I don’t love.  These are things that I cling to and would feel a very real loss if I was to give them away.

I didn’t come to a conclusion, except that I need to teach myself not to cling to possessions.  By not attaching myself to these objects I wouldn’t suffer loss if I was to lose them.

Second Session:

In the second session, I thought of the quote more in a spiritual sense. This Bible verse came to mind:

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – Mark 8:35

If you click the link it will take you to a page where you will see the various translations of the passage, as well as cross references to other similar passages.

So I started thinking about how I am clinging to what I want for my life, what I think is best for my life, and how I am not trusting in the dreams that God has put in my head and heart because they are not “safe” options. 

A while ago I read a book with my husband called “When God Writes Your Love Story” by Eric and Leslie Ludy.  Why was it so easy for me to trust God with my love story (the one with Mark), but it is so difficult to trust God with my life story?  Why am I clinging to life?  Why can I not trust God and simply do what  I feel he wants me to do?

Yet again I didn’t come to a conclusion, just a decision that I needed to start working on this.

Third Session:

The third session ended in some form of conclusion: I’m clinging to my individuality.  I cannot get rid of the clothes I love because it is part of my individuality, it is an extension of myself.  I cannot get rid of my DVD collection because when I look at it I see 100+ different aspects of my personality, my individuality.  What I wear (or want to wear) hints to the world who I am.  The books and DVD’s I own shows my interests and likes to anybody who looks through them.  It is all part of me, part of who I perceive myself to be.

While I don’t like opening up my soul to someone until I am ready to (this post is something I am ready to open up, I never write anything I am not willing to be open about to the whole world), I still like to throw little hints of my personality and individuality out into the world. 

Skelanimals T-Shirts are my subtle hint at “I like the dark and creepy, but not too much”.

My jeans, hiking boots and T-shirts show the subtle hint at “I’m a tomboy. I am not a Barbie Doll. I am real. I am not fake. There is a brain in this head” and the summer dresses are my hint at “Even though I am a tomboy, I do like looking pretty, but you will only see me in it when I have proven my intelligence to you.”

By losing my attachment to these things, I will lose a vital tool that I use to show the world my individuality without actually speaking it.

Now comes the quest: giving over my individuality to God.  My individuality is the part of my life I am clinging to.  I am not trusting God to allow the person he created to show through regardless of what I wear, and the stuff I own.  I am using stuff to show it off in my own power instead.

Now it is time… figuring out the next step.  Changing my mind.  Not sure how yet though… when I have figured it out, I’ll let you know!

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