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Not Having a Thing

It starts with the decision that one has a Thing. "Oh, that is totally my Thing!" you might say, "That's been My Thing since forever."

The idea of having (or being had by?) a Thing can be a source of identity.  Knowing we have a Thing makes us feel more like a Thing ourselves, that is to say: real. Having a Thing gives us a sense of belonging- we have it, but whether we know it or not, the Thing has us, too. We are now associated with a Thing.

Dove illustration for the Audubon Society by David Allen Sibley. 



You know this is true. Just think about what happened when it got out that you had a Thing at any point in time. People started giving you the Thing in its many forms. Let's say your Thing is a duck. You suddenly have duck plates, duck dish towels, duck napkin rings, duck shirts...many, many ducks. The Duck ends up having many children, until one day you realize that instead of having a Thing for ducks, well, the ducks actually now have YOU. The tribe of ducks are holding council all around you. You are, daresay, something of a duck yourself amidst that brace of ducks.

To have and be had by a Thing can be amazing. It is an anchor in the sea of overwhelm that all beings experience from time to time: do this, be that, this will make you happier, that will make you prettier, this is important, that is a must-see. To have a Thing is to have a gauge by which you can measure yourself and set some kind of baseline for your life, especially if that Thing is a religion or ideology. A Thing can carve a groove so deep in your mind and guts that rivers of silvery energy and pools of watery light flow automatically to, and through, that channel. This is one of the signs of the success of the manifestation of the relationship between you and the Thing. 

But the problem is, it can also become restricting. It can wear you out to have and be had by a Thing, especially when that Thing is no longer really your chosen-in-the-now Thing anymore. You are not here to dig a single channel. You are not here to be only one Thing. You are here to seed the earth with a thousand stars, to be wyrd and brilliant, to build, tear down, recycle, and evolve.

Your entire raft of ducks can't always come along every time your heart sets sail on the sea of change. One duck, or maybe two, might come along, but not so many that you feel hemmed in or cramped. Not so many as to become predators or an invasive species wherever you touch down on land once more. It doesn't mean you are any less of a duck, now that you've been had by the ducks, just that you are more than a duck. All those ducks will still be there, in the pond of your mind, even as you open yourself to a new ocean of possibility. In that ocean, you do not have, nor are you had by, a Thing. Yet.

How long can you stay free of having, and being had by, a Thing? How much wider and deeper can you expand your capacity for enduring the vastness of All Things without becoming stuck on just one or a few? The longer the duration of that expansiveness, the more free you are.