When I talk about “self-ownership,” even I sometimes have that moment of hesitation because it was drilled into me for many years that I don’t belong to myself, and that spiritual maturity involves abandoning myself to “serve God” and “do God’s will” and “submit to the lordship of Christ,” all of which meant whatever the religious “authorities/experts” told me it was. (I later became one of those “authorities/experts” telling others.) In that arrangement, the idea of self-ownership… well… self-anything for that matter… was seen as selfish and sinful.
Self-ownership is fully possessing your own life. Think of them as duties you owe to yourself, including:
the duty to be authentic and true to your unique self
the duty to be a fully-expressed human being
the duty to follow your own inner guidance and intuition
the duty to think for yourself and form your own beliefs and views
the duty to take responsibility for creating your life
the duty to take responsibility for your happiness
the duty to care for yourself and your well-being
the duty to determine and direct the path and steps of your life
the duty to invest time and energy in your interests and passions
the duty to do what brings you joy and happiness
the duty to establish loving and mutually-satisfying relationships
the duty to say no and set boundaries for your well-being
the duty to act of your own free-will and not fear, shame or coercion
the duty to terminate destructive, toxic, or oppressive relationships
the duty to be mindful and responsible in managing your own needs and desires
Did you know you own a person? It’s you. This has always been God’s intention. Spiritual maturity and transformation is NOT an abandonment of self. Spiritual maturity and transformation is NOT POSSIBLE without the foundation of self-ownership.
When you own something, you have the right to determine who has access to it. We get this idea when it comes to our car. Right? You own your car. Someone can’t just come along and decide they want it to use. This also applies to your mind, body, personality, and human personhood. You own that! While this may seem like a simple concept, it makes a big difference in how we live our lives.
If we did not own our own bodies, we could be easily abused. Without self-ownership, others could try to use our bodies, our talents or abilities, or the things we produce for their own gain without our permission. Since we own our own bodies and human personhood, however, people need our permission before they can have access to us or our talents or production or any other part of ourselves and our lives.
(Photo by Darla Winn)