Several years ago I got very into the writings of Myrtle Fillmore, one of the founders of Unity. She talked in one of her essays about being able to appreciate things without having to own them. The longer I live, the more wisdom I see in this. This kind of detachment is a wonderful state of mind to have.
This line of thinking has been something I have been pondering for the past few days in Mexico. I have come to see that my needs are very simple, and that all my needs are met. Our little house here is about one-fourth the size of our house in Nashville. Yet, I delight in it. You can only be in one room at a time. We have a nice little kitchen, a cozy sitting area, a comfortable bed, and a dressing area. A bath up, and a half-bath down. To most of the population of our planet, this would be a palace. Our casa is crowned with a small but lovely rooftop. By the way, in Mexico a living room is called a “sala de estar.” A room for to be.
One of the loveliest things that has happened on this trip is that we have made friends. A couple of those friends invited us to their house the other evening. Their house would be my dream house in San Miguel. Large, exquisite, luxurious, and perfect. And far beyond our budget. It was wonderful to share this time in this beautiful home and enjoy a 360 degree view of San Miguel. The couple who own this home are some of the friendliest, most open people I have met in a while. Even their dog is charming. I treasure their welcoming friendship.
What I realized as we walked home was that I was very happy to have an opportunity to share some time in their environment. But, I also realized I could enjoy that environment without needing to own something similar. I am very happy to be sitting on our little rooftop as I write this. I can appreciate without having to own. I think that this realization is a major step to my personal liberation.
But, before you think I’ve gotten way super-spiritual, confession: I do still like to buy something every now and then. I’m just much easier to satisfy and my desires have changed. I find I am valuing experiences more than possessions. Instead of wanting a very expensive handbag (even with my discount….) I am happy to have a new scarf. Just something to brighten me up.
So, I’m not there yet, but I can actually see the light. And one last thing, I find my desires for material things are much more driven by the qualities I associate with whatever it is, than the monetary value of the thing itself. Yesterday, we went out for a day in the country with some friends. It was a perfect day. We went into a fantastic gallery (another post) and I was quite drawn to a bracelet from Chiapas that was about $25. I wanted it because I knew it would always remind me of that perfect moment.
I wonder if Myrtle loved bright, sparkly things?