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Monday, April 11,2022

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By Jon Ellis  
Material possessions do not make us successful or happy, nor should they make us unhappy. Surrounding ourselves with beautiful things that bring us joy is never inherently problematic. Materialism only becomes detrimental to our spiritual welfare when we develop an excessive attachment to things, when we no longer appreciate what we have. When the very thought of losing our possessions evokes a sense of dread and a fear of losing, not only our things, but our sense of self, then we are out of balance. The same challenge can occur when we become overly fixed in our opinions and beliefs, and are then suddenly confronted with a new, more expansive view of reality. Life demands growth and change, and it is in our best interest to be adaptable.

Society and our culture teach us from birth to measure success by how vast our collection of wealth and accumulated material possessions becomes. In time, we falsely identify so much with our things, that we even manufacture our personalities and egos around them. Our net worth and possessions should never be confused or allowed to be a measure of our self-worth. Regardless of our level of attachment, know that everything, including our bodies, is glorified dust on loan, and will one day be returned. Life after life, we have come here to this world with nothing but our conscious immortal selves. When it is our time leave this world, that is all we will take with us.

As we walk along our unique wonderous paths, we will come to recognize that life is about loving relationships and giving service – not collecting things. Invest our time wisely developing our permanent higher qualities of compassion, grace and humility. When we awaken from our slumber, we will find that to appreciate their graceful beauty and delicate fragrance, it is no longer necessary to possess and pick each flower, to collect each butterfly we come upon. Have and hold, but grasp lightly. Trust and surrender, knowing that if something is taken from us, it will be replaced by something of infinitely greater spiritual value.

 

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