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What Belongs To You?

You believe in each person’s intrinsic value, in the preciousness and possibilities life offers, and you believe that like others, you too are uniquely valuable and have an important role to play in this world.

You believe that small things matter and small actions can have powerful ripple effects.

You believe that the challenges in your life are opportunities for learning and that despite the pain they may incur, you’re determined to make something positive happen inside or out, in spite of or because of them.

You don’t worry about or envy others’ skills, talents, advantages, gifts, mental prowess, physical prowess, personalities or looks because you believe you’ve been given what you need to live, give, and grow.

You don’t believe that you are uniquely unqualified, uniquely disadvantaged or uniquely maladroit. You believe you’ve been given the talents and possessions you need to live a good life.

You don’t worry that someone else will steal what’s yours because you truly believe that if it’s yours, it will remain with you, and if it’s not yours, it won’t.

You don’t despair when you lose, you do your best to start again.

You grieve and mourn, but when it’s time to move on, you do.

You have spirituality and faith in your life.

A Story

There was once a poor man who earned a living by digging clay and selling it.

Once, while digging clay, he discovered a precious stone which was obviously worth a great deal. Since he had no idea of its worth, he took it to an expert to tell him its value.

The expert answered, “No one here will be able to afford such a stone. Go to London, the capital, and there you will be able to sell it.”

The man was so poor that he could not afford to make the journey. He sold everything he had, and went from house to house, collecting funds for the trip.

Finally he had enough to take him as far as the sea. He then wanted to board a ship, but he did not have any money. He went to a ship’s captain and showed him the jewel.

The captain immediately welcomed him aboard the ship with great honor, assuming that he was a very trustworthy person. He gave the poor man a special first class cabin, and treated him like a wealthy personage.

The poor man’s cabin had a view of the sea, and he sat there, constantly looking at the diamond and rejoicing. He was especially particular to do this during his meals, since eating in such good spirits is highly beneficial for the digestion.

Then one day, he sat down to eat, with the diamond lying in front of him on the table where he could enjoy it. Sitting there, he dozed off. Meanwhile, the mess boy came and cleared the table, shaking the tablecloth with its crumbs and the diamond into the sea.

When he woke up and realized what had happened, he almost went mad with grief. Besides, the captain was a ruthless man who would not hesitate to kill him for his fare.

Having no other choice, he continued to act happy, as if nothing had happened. The captain would usually speak to him a few hours every day, and on this day, he put himself in good spirits, so that the captain was not aware that anything was wrong.

The captain said to him, “I want to buy a large quantity of wheat and I will be able to sell it in London for a huge profit. But I am afraid that I will be accused of stealing from the king’s treasury. Therefore, I will arrange for the wheat to be bought in your name. I will pay you well for your trouble.”

The poor man agreed. But as soon as they arrived in London, the captain died. The entire shipload of wheat was in the poor man’s name, and it was worth many times as much as the diamond.

This story was told by Rebbe Nachman who concluded, “The diamond did not belong to the poor man, and the proof is that he did not keep it. The wheat, however, did belong to him, and the proof is that he kept it.”




What Belongs To You?

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2017). What Belongs To You?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 19, 2018, from


Last updated: 30 Nov 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Nov 2017
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