We sometimes claim ownership to things that are not ours.
Oh, we know the usual items. Too often we claim credit for something we were slightly involved in or for someone that we tangentially know. We do not really mean anything evil by it of course - we are not one of those people claiming stolen valor, for example - but we are almost instinctively drawn in by the fact that people are paying attention to it and if we are at all involved, we want a little bit of the attention as well. It feels good. And after all, we were somehow involved, right?
But there is another kind of ownership we are quick to claim sometimes, an ownership of things that really are not ours but we wish they were.
It is a gray area. It is not as if we are precisely lying - after all, we usually have some relationship to the thing in question - and often times the thing or people involved never know that we really think that. And we may never verbally admit to anyone that it exists - it may only dwell in the recess of our heart, a secret thing that we lay claim.
The difficulty, of course, is that we actually never owned the thing.
It is a difference - a big difference. It is the difference between actually having the money in hand to purchase something and telling someone "I can get the money to purchase the thing" when you are not sure you have it. It is the difference between definitively having a date versus having the concept of possibly talking to the person about having coffee. It is the difference between having the job offer and telling others you have a job offer when in fact you have only had a first interview.
It is often the distance between fantasy and reality.
Why? Sometimes it is simply harmless, the sort of silly fantasy or wishful thinking that simply wishes a situation to be different in our life - that we are something, or know something or someone. Sometimes it is less harmless: we feel we do not have the ability or courage to actually do the thing and so hope that acting as if we did will make it so (this may work for changing our own behavior, but seldom in this case). And sometimes it is desperation that we desperately need something to be different or better in our lives and so we grasp at straws with hands wide open, hoping that such a thing slightly grasped is the same as something actually grasped.
But it never is in any case. The thing - be it an object or a relationship, a person or an experience - was never really ours. We perhaps believed it to be, acted as if it was, told others that it was - but it simply was not. Our minds, our hearts, and our souls perhaps created a reality where there was really nothing but fleeting images and happy wishes.
It was never really ours. But sometimes we certainly act as if it was.