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ownership

Posted Oct 26 2012 6:24pm

I've been wanting to write about this for the longest time...

I think it was sometime during this past summer when I was having a series of discussions with someone about "ownership" and what it means.

We had been working on her "lack of desire to do anything with her life." As we explored this it turned out to be something different than it might have looked like at first (which is so often the case right?!). It wasn't that she didn't want to do anything with her life; it was much more that she didn't feel she "had a right" to do anything with her life.

This led us to discuss ownership of one's life.

Pretty interesting I tell you. Have you guys spent much time thinking about and wondering about and noticing the idea of ownership? 

As I was trying to come up with examples of how this person could possibly own her life I was amazed by how many places in our lives we can own. Here's a very short, non-exhaustive list:

We can own our decisions, thoughts, beliefs, actions, desires, bodies, psyches, careers, landscaping plans, certain way we make toast, choice of coffee places we want to visit...

It just goes on and on and on....

The person I'm telling y'all about went off to a treatment program, and I was all over her about owning her decision to do so. She was putting it in terms of that her mother "made" her go, but I didn't think so at all- I mean, her mom definitely did want her to go for sure, but the reason that the woman went to treatment was really because it made sense to her to go. This was a bit nerve-wracking for her to acknowledge, but she quickly got used to the idea and accepted it- and then could begin to be proud of owning this decision. It was the first time she'd ever felt she'd owned anything in her life.

A friend of mine has a daughter who is 10. This girl's dad has been telling her for years that she needs to play a team sport. But the girl doesn't want to play a team sport; in fact, she hasn't wanted to play any organized sport at all. She's into other things. A couple months ago a teacher at her school offered volleyball after school. The girl wanted to sign up. But she wanted it to be her decision- she didn't want to do it because her dad wanted her to do it. In other words, she wanted to own that decision and that action. Her mom promised that she would talk to the dad and explain that the girl had decided on her own to do volleyball, and that he wasn't allowed to say anything to her about what a good girl she was because she was following what he thought was best.

So, think about it. Where are places you guys feel ownership?

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