Possessions. We all have them. We all wish we had more of them. We all often define ourselves by them. So, what happens when they are taken away from us? Often we lose our feeling of self-worth. We feel as if a part of ourselves was taken right along with it. At least that was how I felt when my wallet was stolen last week…… And then today when my car was broken into. Both were completely unrelated acts, but they happened so close together that I feel hit pretty hard by the curve-balls that the universe is throwing my way. So, this brings into sharp perspective my attachment to two of my most important possessions in my life: my wallet and my car. A week after the wallet was stolen, almost all of the items have been replaced. A few silly old ID cards from the past were lost for good, but, in the end, does that really matter? What is my attachment to these tiny pieces of plastic that I clutch to my body and carry with me everywhere? Do they make me a better person? A kinder, more loving friend? A better teacher? A more sympathetic human being? No. Sure, they help me to pay the bills, but the world is not over when I have to spend a few weeks without them. As for my car…. when I first saw her, it was love at first sight. Ever since I can remember, I had a savings account at a local bank and I would put in money (sometimes as little as $.50 at a time). As I walked out of the bank, I would always think, “this is for college and for a blue VW Beetle with a moonroof.” At the age of 17, I was blessed with the ability to put a down payment on my dream car.
Ever the fastidious (and a bit OCD) owner, every scuff in the paint was a travesty; every dent was a personal offense that I hastily attempted to cover up. That car was my baby and I considered her to be me in vehicle form. As she aged and began to have bigger bumps and bruises, I started to panic. And now, my car is filled with broken glass in every nook and cranny. Her entire speaker system is busted and the dashboard is a mess. Her door is dented and scuffed from where the criminal climbed through the window. Her seats are covered in mud and scuffs from where he crawled all over her trying to find something to take. My baby is beginning to fall apart. What did I do wrong? What could I have done to prevent this from occurring? The answer: nothing…. short of living the life of a yogic hermit in the mountains somewhere, free of possessions and money.Often times, we do this with our own bodies too. A smile line appears on our faces and we think “WHY???? What did I ever do to deserve this?” Well, at one point of time you must have been happy. That’s what you did. Shame on you. Why didn’t you plan ahead!? Life is hard. Life causes scrapes, bumps, and bruises (and yes, sometimes even a few wrinkles.) But does that mean it isn’t worth living? My car has given me a safe haven throughout my years of college. We have shared amazing trips and crazy experiences. It stands to reason that her own life experience would show on her body just as mine does. In the grand scheme of things, bad things are bound to happen no matter how much good you try to do in this world. You can’t control the world any more than you can stop the sun from shining. What really matters is how you bounce back and how you grow and learn from your experiences. And, boy, have I experienced quite a lot……. Hey, is that a new wrinkle?