Are you happy with the things you possess, or do they possess your happiness?

Posted by tinythoughtguy on February 9, 2015 at 7:00 PM

When we come into this world we have nothing, other than a body that doesn’t listen to us, and yet, as babies, we’re happy in our natural state. We don’t own anything, we can’t do anything, we can’t even say anything and somehow we are happy. And, in those moments when we were unhappy, we made our point and went back to being happy. We did not sit and ponder the events leading to our unhappiness, we did not ponder why we were unhappy, we simply went back to our natural state of happiness.

As life progresses we take our mind off of the simple things, like eating and pooping, and we start to own “stuff”: we learn the word “mine”. All of a sudden “the toy” becomes “my toy” and we start to identify with the idea that we “own” stuff. When we own stuff we start to believe that this stuff is part of us. My car, my house, my wife, my kids, my, my… All of these things are mine, they belong to me, they are now part of my life and who I am, they are now part of my identity. By extension, we then start using the phrase, “My ____________ brings me happiness” or in the contrary, “My________________ makes me sad.”

If we were to take a step back and look at this more objectively perhaps we would realize that no-thing can bring us happiness, nor can any-thing bring us sadness. Happiness and sadness are not some add-on that you can buy when you purchase, or acquire, your things. You can’t ask the car dealer to throw in a little extra happiness when you buy that new car, yet when we say that our car brings us happiness, or makes us happy, isn’t this exactly the same thing?

When somebody you know is emotionally devastated would it make sense to try and alleviate that suffering by giving them a new television or kitchen appliance? Most likely we would say that this is ridiculous; however, if we truly believed that these things could bring happiness wouldn’t it make sense that when you’re in laws died you gave your wife a new toaster?

It’s ironic really that, although we can see the ridiculousness of the idea that “things” bring us happiness in these extreme cases, we don’t see the reality that no-thing can bring us happiness because it is external to us and happiness is an internal state of being.

Certainly, having things can make life easier and having different things can bring us different experiences in life, it’s just that things, in and of themselves, do not contain little packets of happiness. Thinking that our possessions can give us happiness is merely an illusion that disempowers us.

We’re subject to and the servant of anything that we obey emotional, and unfortunately our possessions often possess us.”-Ernest Holmes
Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won't make people enjoy life more…” -Richard Branson
Command your Wealth, else that will command you.” -Thomas Fuller
It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” –Charles Spurgeon


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