Questioning our stuff

Our Things

We buy stuff, we get given stuff, we own stuff and we get used to stuff. Many of us derive a sense of comfort (and even warmth), identity and status from what we own. Our stuff are not us and we are not our stuff- we are much more than that. Having the biggest house that we can afford does not mean we are happy and rich- for many it spells debt, stress and high maintenance. Wearing beautiful and expensive clothes do not make us a good and lovely person. We even try and obtain some sense of happiness and satisfaction from our belongings and purchases. The new acquisition would probably have given you that initial sense of happiness and excitement but then we get used to it and even get tired of it and we move on to our next acquisition to fill that gap of emptiness and rekindle that feeling of happiness and excitement. I bought a brand new Audi a year ago- it was the car I have always wanted and it was in a gorgeous colour. I was absolutely thrilled with my purchase and being in the car and driving it gave me a great sense of joy and fun. That lasted for a couple of months and now my dream car is just a car- I still enjoy driving it but it was no longer the source of my joy.

I realized we get deeper and more lasting happiness and fulfillment not from what we own, but from being true to ourselves, being with people we love, doing work that we feel passionate about, having experiences that inspire and empower us and giving our time and effort to help people in need and causes we believe in.

There isn’t anything wrong with buying or owning stuff. The problem arises when we give too much meaning to what we own and not asking why we own it. Look around you and pick up an item you own. Why did you buy it and when was the last time you used or appreciated it? If you haven’t used  or looked at it in a while, why not? Do you still need it? Are you holding on to it ‘just in case’? From my own personal experience, that ‘just in case’ occasion almost never arises. Probably the only item worth keeping ‘just in case’ is the First Aid Kit. If you are holding on to it for emotional or sentimental reasons, why haven’t you appreciated or looked at it for a while? Maybe it is not that important or meaningful to you as you thought it was after all. Out of sight, out of mind.

Questioning our stuff is the basis for a more simpler, happier and fulfilling life. By getting rid of excess, we can focus on what is important and essential.


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