On Loan

Treat all things as if they were loaned to you without any ownership – whether body or soul, sense or strength, external goods or honors, house or hall . . . everything.” Meister Eckhart

Wow! Even with my twelve years of Catholic education, I don’t recall ever hearing of Meister Eckhart. He was a German mystic, theologian and philosopher. He taught a radical religious philosophy that God was present in everything. He claimed mystical experiences and had a large following. He was also tried as a heretic. Catholics were big on heretics back in the Middle Ages

He entered the Dominican order and worked as an administrator of 47 convents. His passion was preaching the Gospel. He was invited to Paris to teach, which was a great honor. His story includes a comment citing his heated discussions/debates with the Franciscan order. Wow. He stressed the Divinity in Mankind. He was considered mystical because he thought it important to clear one’s mind to be receptive to God’s presence. Isn’t this what Meditation is?

Eckhart also taught the importance of detachment from earthly things and desires. Again, doesn’t that sound like meditation and decluttering? Learning these things is good. Sadly, although he believed in teaching the poor and had huge following, he was found guilty of heresy and died while the verdict was under appeal. I find that sad, because in later years, Thomas Aquinas followed Eckhart’s teachings. I’m amazed at this.

Theology aside, maybe there is something about not treating things as if we “owned” them. Of course, we love our home, and we will own it someday, and our cars, but those things do not own us. We don’t feel defined by them. We may say, “my wife, my husband,” but we do not own them. We belong with them, through promises, vows, and civil laws.

When I was young, I thought couples had to be together all the time. They had to have only the same interests and hobbies. I knew no other example. As I grew up and learned codependency should not be a goal, I also learned a very different way of having relationships. The women in my world were self-proclaimed martyrs. Not all of them, but many were, it was the times (50s and 60s) and how we were taught life was. Men worked, women didn’t.

Although the Babe and I get along very well, we are somewhat different. I’m a book nerd, he’s not. He’s very helpful taking care of the house and cooking. I need his help! He’s never sat and wanted to be waited on. Mama raised up a couple good men with the Babe and his brother Ron. Thanks, Liz!

According to my daily meditation book, thinking someone is our responsibility leads to misplaced problem ownership. I took on a lot of responsibility that wasn’t mine, both for our mom and a brother. They needed to own their messes! I dropped those burdens, and wow. My load is so light now! Creativity is how I express myself, and the writing is improving. I will write that novel. November will see the goal of 50,000 words met. I have to do this, it’s an important message and I feel compelled to share it. Give others an inkling as to what can help them become free from the ties that bind them.

The last 25 years of my life have been so full of love and enjoyment. I made my kids be responsible for their choices. Once I didn’t enable them (didn’t last long, trust me), they became very capable adults. I was not taught how to do that. We learned together. I look at all the people in my life as being on loan. I enjoy them completely when we’re together, and they all have their own lives to live. The Babe, too. Events like his illnesses and accidents teach me he’s only on loan. He’s been quite lucky so far, and someday, that luck will run out. We’re not being negative, just realistic. I will live in today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Join me.

Thank you for reading today. Happy Halloween, and think of me writing tomorrow. 1,667 words a day for the 30 days of November. We’ll be closer to a finished novel! Isn’t that wonderful? Join me. See you tomorrow!