The Withness

What does it mean when something is yours? Your clothes, your books, your plates, your couch, your food, your house, your friends, your job. I'm talking about what "yours" means beyond legalities and formalities.

I like to think of yours as something that is with you now. It's part of your life right now. It's there for your pleasure in this moment.

When something is yours and you love it, you have a relationship with this thing, person or activity. You interact with it, it affects you. There's something deep and enlivening about that connection. You're not thinking about how you'll love this thing in the future.

For instance, I love the pants I'm wearing now. They are a pair of red, blue and green lounging-around-the-house pants. They feel good on me. I feel like I'm treating myself well. The colors feel fun and appeal to me creatively and spur me on to write this post. I'm enjoying being with them now. I'm not remembering how it used to be when I first got them, or thinking about how I'll feel about these pants in the future when they wear out. I'm enjoying them now.

When you're not using and enjoying something, you have it. You're holding onto it rather than living with it. When we hold on to things and people that we're not with, it's like we have corralled and trapped them. That energy constricts us rather than leaves us feeling open. We hope that having these things or people will bring us pleasure. But no amount of having leaves us feeling satisfied. It leaves us feeling empty because we've lost the feeling of connection, the withness.

By removing the things, people and activities from your life to which you no longer feel connected, you have the space to enjoy and be with the things and people who sooth, uplift, and excite you.