Relationship vs. Ownership

Relationship vs. Ownership

Walking from unhealthy Ego into the infinite Nature of the Heart

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We are born from relationship. In the belly of our mother. From the Love of our parents. Desired or not, well cared for as a child or not, it is because of relationship that we came into being. The whole universe was and is born out of relationship, between energies, particles, elements and Spirit. Yet as we are born and educated in our western world, we very quickly learn the ways of ownership. We learn that some things are “mine” and some are “yours”. We learn that our family own houses, cars, lands, or not. We belong to social classes based on what we own, the money on our bank account, or the things our family possess. 

In traditional society, and before the birth of agriculture, the model of shared resources was or still is the way of relating to each other. Someone would gather, forage, hunt, build for the community. Based on ancient knowledge and various right of passages the “who I am” will be define in relationship to ancestors, Spirits, and Lands. The “who I am” will find it’s natural and harmonious place with everyone else. The “who I am” will be in right relationship with the others (not only humans but animals, plants, etc.).

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In those traditional societies anything and everything is based on the supremacy of the “we” vs. the “me”. The “us” is the rule not because the “I” is non-existent but because the “I” is in relationship that was/is defined through ancient wisdom that has always proven its capacity to keep balance and peace in the system. As a matter of fact, in some of those native cultures the word “mine” does not exist, only “ours” does. In Quechua for example, I cannot say this is MY house, MY bag, MY food. But only this is OUR house, OUR bag, OUR food.

Because of the language, the ancestral wisdom, and the culture of shared resources, we learned relationship vs. ownership. We learn right relationship. The consequence on the individual and the group are profound. Because I live in right relationship and not in ownership I will not seek to “possess” more than you and I will not experience greed, lack, fears, and separation with “others”. Most of the issues and inequalities our world is sick with are coming from this separation, the ME vs. YOU, this US vs THEM. Because once what is yours is not mine, and what is mine is not yours, I learn AND LIVE in the fear of protecting what is mine, lacking what is not mine, the fear of “not enough”, the fear of separation. I learn that I am “alone” in this world and that unless I thrive for more (for me), I am in danger.

Think of the first humans. Living as hunters and gatherers in the savanna of Africa. At that time, if I was living with my group, my group will keep me safe (and I will keep them safe). I will be safe against the “wilderness” and also taking care of and caring for. I will know that safety is within the group and unsafety is outside of the group. And this is how we lived and how our brain evolved for tens of thousands of years, as a human tribe.  

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Our original reptilian brain, still present at the top of our spine, is deeply encoded with this ancient program that says: “If I am separated from my group, I will for sure die very soon”. This is so deep in our programing that it is totally unconscious and yet runs most of our modern behaviors. If you look at today’s behavior in our western world you can see how this play. I want to belong to a social group, I need to buy certain brands of clothing or car, I need to go to specific gathering, yoga studios, destinations, I need to live in certain places in certain cities, I need to eat certain food, etc.

Everything I do is to create, OFTEN UNCONSCIOUSLY, a sense of belonging, a sense of relating, a sense of safety. Once I know my tribe, either being the wealthy or the vegan, the French or the hippies, the ecologists or the right wingers, I feel seen, I feel connected, I feel safe. And yes, we could agree that there is nothing wrong, and it in fact it is quite important to want / need to create safety, belonging and relating. Yes, that is true, it is very important. But bear with me a little more so you can see why it is not that simple and that one sided. 

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How many of us are choosing a way of life, a way of living, a diet or a political belief not just because of the ideas it carries but because unconsciously we want to feel connected to others? Not that we should not have belief, ideas, or even dogmas. But how much are we aware that this is resonating deeply into our reptilian brain and prevent our capacity to open to change, to allow connection with the “others” (those who are different in their choices) and more importantly that this can prevent us to truly become who we are? Because to become who we are we need to let go of some (sometimes many) of those choices, and shed many of our identities, and learn to lose that sense of safety for a while. This is the main reason why most people get stuck on this soul path, stop and often turn around, scared to death by the “I” loss that is appearing on the horizon. 

The problem is because those choices who define who we are were made from a place of ownership (I “buy” into because I was told to, I learned to), instead of a place of proper relationship which comes from a deeper identity, from the deepest truth of our heart. And this is because our western world has not valued nor transmitted the proper knowledge, right of passages and initiations into lands, languages, ancient songs & dances, ceremonies, communities & families dynamics and soul purpose.

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We are grown and educated in concrete building not at the foot of trees. We swim in chlorinated luxury pools and not in muddy wild rivers. We dress in meaningless brands and not in purpose rich ancient tribe outfit. We eat exotic endangered food and don’t know how to grow our own food. We buy bottled water from rare springs and pollute our local springs. We celebrate the wealthy and the famous and not the elders and the wises. We plant sterile and toxic green lawns and are afraid of the wild native prairies. We learned to own and buy, instead of listening and relating. We have made Ownership our God and sent proper relationship to Hell.

What happen if I were to live my life from proper relationship vs. ownership? Is that even possible in today’s world? What happen when (and can I?) I let go of the belief that this is “mine” and therefor this is “me”? What would happen if everything I belong to because of my education, the country I was born or the belief I have held so dear would be stripped away from my life? Will I still know who I am? Will I still belong? Will I survive? Unless I have built a strong sense of relationship with who I am (and that “I” being also in proper relationship with others) this task to let go of ownership will be impossible.

It only become possible with others. The others. Because when everything is stripped away from us (sometimes our native culture as westerners was destroyed over 2000+ years ago and does not have any wisdom keepers anymore) what is left is EACH OTHERS. This universal Heart connection, beyond race, color, belief and lands, that makes us ultimately truly Human.

So where do we go from there?

What does ancient Native culture, and Nature, have to teach us?

How do we remember and reconnect to our old ways of relationships?

After sitting for many years with elders from all around the world, and sitting in/with Nature, there is one core message that keeps coming back. To be in balance and in peace with myself and with others, I need to be in proper RELATIONSHIP and ask Spirit, the Spirit of the Land, the Spirit of my ancestors, what is that whispering, what is that ultimate truth.

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Let’s take an example. I do not own my land, I have a relationship with it as long as I am alive and live on it. This is what my land told me when I prayed with Her. She wanted to be heard, seen and understood, not owned. She did not care “where I come from” but she cared about how we will serve each other in proper relationship.

One day I will die and this relationship will be transferred to a new caretaker. It does not really matter who “OWN” the land but it matters way more who “HAS A RELATIONSHIP” with this land. Owning does not means really anything (the owner could even never had seen it in today’s world which is quite absurd when you think of it for a minute…). It is because of that relationship with this land, the time and energy I spent connecting to that land, that I get not only my sense of belonging, my relating, but also that I can hear and understand the knowledge the land has for me. And this did not happen is a few weeks or months, but over years. The land took her time to open her whispering to me, and it took me time to hear it. And today I am realizing that to be in even deeper (proper) relationship I need to connect with the elder keepers of this land, the Lenape (Native American tribe) who lived there a long time before me. Also, I was not born in a traditional Native tribe, nor did I get from my family a deep ancient tradition of spirituality or healing.

All what I learned about those ways comes from the proper relationships I have built, and still building, with Elders, Ancestors, my land and Spirits. It is because I am willing to surrender the “me” that I can hear the “we”. It is because I was and am willing for the “I” I knew to die, that I might experience the real me.

The only teachings I can share are those coming from those proper relationships I am cultivating. Not from a certificate, diplomas, or books I bought. Not from any ownership. Nor do I also own any of those teachings, none of them are mine. I have a relationship with those teachings. They are alive, living and breathing within me, birthing and growing. And I keep watching diligently when my Ego tends to want to grasp them too tightly, and to project on them my identity, to endanger the proper relationship, to try to make them become my ownership. When this happen, I remind myself, as it is my experience with this, that it is only in proper relationship that true wisdom will arise. So, I relax my grip, I slow down, I breath, I hug my reptilian brain with a big smile of love and “self-safe” care.

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And then magic happen again once I released the need to own those teachings, or to make them mine, I gave them again the freedom to breath in my heart and expand in my soul. Non-attachment to them also gave, and gives me, the freedom to grow the real me. I became the tree in the forest, the stone in the river, the bird in the sky, not attached to my surrounding anymore but in relationship with it, in proper relationship. I become free, as a part of all creation, accepting the repeated death of the various layers of my identities, I remember a new and deeper part of my soul, and I can touch for a second my eternity. I reconnect to Nature. To the Human tribe. The veils of cultures, belief, colors, race, all fade away. The Earth is whispering to me, you are my child, I am your mother, in the same way as every single other being who walks on me.

Those are not poetic words or exotic dreams, but the true reality of the experience of proper relationship. We can experience it with one another, with a land, with a tree, with a stone, with a river, with the wind, with our ancestors, with Spirit. But to experience that, always we need to let go of ownership, and dive into proper relationship. We need to stop worshipping owner-ships and start honoring those who cultivate proper relationship like Wisdom Keepers Elders, Native tribes, Nature in all her manifestations and any individual who cultivate that relationship with open Heart and egolessness.

I want to encourage you to be in proper relationship with all. First with your SELF! If you still have a lot of anger, self-judgement, judgement of “others”, shame or feeling of self-hatred, you need first to rebuild the relationship with EVERY PART OF YOURSELF (this is a big part of the trauma healing work I do with clients). Rebuilding a living relationship with ourself and others.

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A relationship where there are no others anymore.

To let go of any goals and temptation of ownership. To seek wisdom where it lives, in Nature, in tribes, with the Elders Wisdom Keepers, and ultimately in the depth of your Heart. Because It is where you will find balance, health, joy and clarity. Where you will find unity. Where you will find Love. Grateful to be alive. Grateful to not craving the need to own more, to have left the race of ownership the world insanity feeds on. Grateful to crave more authentic relationship, grateful to remember that your freedom and purpose is in shared resources, shared knowledge and shared relationship. I want you to feel in the core of your being that your tribe cannot be made of any kind of ownership but only of proper relationships, relationships that needs to include all your relations (humans, animals, plants, stones, rivers, etc.).

I pray we do this great work together. I pray we keep remembering and honoring the old ways, our elders, ancient wisdom, our ancestors and the great Mystery. I pray the world will wake up from the nightmare the ownership of lands, knowledge and resources has created. I pray humanity will comes together in one circle, as one family, in compassionate and loving relationships because today’s ownership model is killing our communities and most of the life on our planet.

Ready to join the prayer? I invite you to reflect on where you are holding tightly to ownership in your life, in your emotional behaviors, in your mental patterns, in your belief systems. Look at your body, your thoughts, your emotions, your beliefs, your practices, your addictions, your behaviors, your sicknesses, your imbalances, your judgement, your criticisms, your diet, your relationships. Do the exercise. You will be surprise by the giant walls your needs for belonging and safety have built on your own path to inner freedom, soul discovery and intimate connection.

And every time ask yourself those questions:

  • What can I do to release the grip of ownership and move towards proper relationship?

  • Where do I still not have a proper relationship with myself?

  • How does this reflect on the way I talk and relate to others?

  • Where do I hold too tightly to my belief in an Ego way which arms others and myself?

  • What is the next step I can take to step more into Heart loving relationship with those I separated from through my Ego judgement?

Enjoy this beautiful process. I am here to support you in this remembering through Breathwork, Body dearmouring, Trauma work and Shamanic healing sessions I hold remotely online and in person at The Sanctuary and in NYC.

Sending my deep blessings to you all,

Shawinigan Ungaia

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Guillaume Gauthereau