‘O’wn your stuff
A few years ago, when I had just experienced something of particular difficulty, but had not really fully made it through processing all of the feelings and knowledge (both lost and gained), a friend told me, “you have to own your stuff.”
I didn’t immediately get what he was saying. I thought I was taking full blame for my part in the problem. He said I was. That wasn’t his point. His point was that it no longer mattered that someone had harmed me or whatever circumstances led to that trauma, I owned what was left. It didn’t matter how I got there, but there I was.
Let’s say you own a car. It might be a $1,500 clunker that belches smoke constantly and is as much as source of worry as it is a tool of transportation. There may be a lot of reasons you own this car. Maybe you were unemployed for six months, ended up with bad credit and can’t get a car loan. Maybe you don’t have a job that pays you enough money to buy something that would be more reliable. Maybe you stupidly spent all of your savings on a flat screen plasma TV the week before the car started acting up. Maybe you inherited the car from your deceased grandmother and giving it up will force you to finally say goodbye.
Whatever the reason is, the fact is that you own that car. Is it a problem? Is it an asset? Is it an adventure? Or is it just a stupid car?
When my friend said I had to “own my stuff,” he was saying it really didn’t matter how I got there. I was there. I had choices, of course. We always do. I could fix it, change it, renew it, live in it, live with it or leave it behind. But before I could make those choices, I first had to own it.