People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.
We experience lasting happiness when we develop and nurture meaningful relationships with people close to us, not when we own a lot of materialistic possessions.
As social and mindful creatures, we thrive on love and bonding. We live with purpose and relationships give us deeper meaning in life. A happier life is often a result of better relationships. Yet, we often tend to love material possessions and own people.
Some people use things and love people and others love things and use people. The former has an abundance of friends, opportunities, and experiences. The latter is difficult to know because of guarded attitudes and possessiveness.
When people place their highest value in the objects they own, they must protect them. They believe that what they own sets their personal value and their understanding is that ownership creates security. In other words, their security does not come from themselves, but from their 401K plan, their house, family, and status or professional position. (Of course, any of these things can disappear overnight.) These folks have not learned to build security through trusting themselves – their talents, creativity, resourcefulness, determination, etc. Therefore they experience a kind of lack in their lives. They busy themselves warding off vulturous people, as they hold tight to meager security taking form in things. Their small mindedness produces paranoia and interferes with personal growth and taking advantage of opportunities to expand themselves by loving and learning and even making mistakes. When these people near the conclusion of life, panic sets in because, by forsaking their search for peace, they have forgotten to love themselves.
Things are transient. They can be lost, stolen, destroyed in the twinkling of an eye (look at Hurricane Katrina or the Great Depression). Then security based on possessions disappears also.
If you are a lover of things and a user of people, consider your options. If your house burned down, you lost your business and your best friend moved away, would you have sufficient self-esteem and trust to start over or would you be hopelessly devastated? Those who have lived with nothing are not afraid of losing everything because they know they will survive regardless. There is security in knowing that. They have weathered the storm and found themselves whole and complete despite it. They know they can pick themselves up and begin anew.
Let your things serve you by offering comfort, convenience, and beauty. Enjoy them for what they offer and don’t let your identity or self-worth depend on them to make you valuable.
You have always been valuable; you will always be valuable whether you occupy a small room or a mansion. Once you understand this, you can open your heart to life’s opportunities and the freedom to investigate and enjoy relationships. Each person offers you a chance to love and be loved. As you love, you expand. You grow greater! It is true, the more you give, the more you receive and the greater you become. In time your friends will outnumber your possessions and your value will no longer be threatened by changes occurring in the physical world. Loving self and others open your heart to immutable peace that can never be lost, stolen, or destroyed.
Start today by extending yourself to others in the spirit of givingness and service. When you reach out unconditionally, people reach back. Both are enriched. Is there someone in your neighborhood or work that needs a friend? Is there some way that you can ease someone’s burdens? Are you ready to be loved?
Jean Walters is available for consultations regarding personal empowerment, becoming unstuck, finding your purpose and passion, healing from past experiences. You can reach her at [email protected]
Written by Jean Walters
Originally appeared in Spiritual Transformation1
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