Maybe your life is breathing so hard just because it’s suffocated with objects. Learn to let them go. You may donate them, give to charity or simply throw them away, but don’t let the clutter stay in your way. You’re not the objects you have.
Creating this habit is a fantastic reward. I don’t know if you suffer from this “souvenirs” illness, but I know I did. I used to pile around tons of physical witnesses of my life. Now I’m scared just by looking at them.
Life is here and now, it can’t be contained in an object. Memories are good as an entertaining system not for dragging you in the past. A clogged house is more than often a sign of a clogged life.
Just make sure you lighten your environment each day with one single object. You’ll soon feel like flying.
The Culture Of Owning And The Slow Death Of Exhilaration
We live in a world where owning is considered a sign of accomplishment. Owning things, owning a position in society. Even life partners are regarded like trophies. A husband who owns a fortune, or a wife who owns a social position.
We’re trained from a very early age to identify success with the things we own. It’s completely wrong, on so many levels.
What you own now may be worthless tomorrow. Fashion, trends, sudden economy shifts, a myriad of factors affects the value of what we own, second by second. It’s not wort h the effort of taking care of them, in the end.
Owning Kills, Gifting Revives
The mere act of owning kills the object. If you own it, it must succumb to your commands, it’s yours, it must be stored, secured, severed, taken away from the flow of life and put into a closet. We do this with things, with memories, with people. We literally take the life away from those objects or persons and we end up stacking them up, in the name of self-indulgence.
We cover our lives in objects and we lose all the natural thrill that can emerge from it. We’re suffocating ourselves.
Start uncovering yourself. Start losing those objects. Break free.
When I first started to do this, I was living in a big house, with way more rooms than I needed and with hundreds of objects I could barely remember their origin. Now I write this post from a small rented apartment, which is enough for two people making a more than a decent living, with almost nothing I own in it, nor furniture or appliances. All I own is clothing and some tools for working, like my laptop (which I use to write this post) and my phone. It took me about 3 years to get here.
And it wasn’t a linear process. It didn’t went like: you throw away one object and suddenly your life gets better.
First, there was this frenzy of losing everything and going “sauvage” and isolated. I threw away all I could see and then some more. I thoroughly embraced minimalism. And then, there was this loneliness. Suddenly, I didn’t have my objects around. But then I realized I didn’t have anyone else around me. I was alone, fooling myself that I’m ok if I have a house, a car and a backyard vineyard. That was the moment when I decided to go out, to connect with other people. And that was the moment that changed my perspective on getting rid of things too.
So, instead of throwing away, I started to gift. To give things to other people. After the initial euphoria of finally breathing through my stuff, I realized that giving things you don’t need to other people is even better.
The subtle meaning of gifting an object is that you transfer not only the physical shape and mass, but your intention to make the other person happier in some way.
And that’s all that counts, in the end.