What we value are not possessions but how we feel about them.
Please discuss. How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out. We’re a consumer society. We like our stuff. We fill our homes and lives with a curated collection of acquisitions, creating a way of life circumscribed by our chosen possessions. We enjoy expressing ourselves with our vehicle, decor, and clothing. We like our possession to represent who we want people to perceive us to be. We may not stop to think about how this limits us.
We develop emotional ties to things we own, particularly if we’ve had them for a while. The table from our very first apartment, the dishes our mom gave us as a present, the outfit we were wearing on the first date with our partner, our child’s first pair of baby shoes—to anyone else they are just mundane items, but to us they are rich with meaning and memories. We hang on to the physical items because we don’t want to let go of the feelings associated with them.
Today’s message reminds me that I don’t need physical items to define who I am. My identity and worth also have very little to do with the tangible world and more to do with spiritual reality and how I relate to others. The memories and feeling I have, which I use mementos to evoke, are what I truly treasure. I don’t need to store items to conjure up the goodness I associate with them. I can recollect positive times and events without a physical cue. The good vibes are enough.
How about you? What is your relationship to stuff?