Why do we have so much trouble disentangling from our possessions?
I have just moved house and have come up against two concerning things;
1. How much stuff I have!
2. How hard it is to part with possessions
While I know I’m not alone, it baffles me why we feel we need so much. Why do we battle so hard internally to let things go?
I know the battle is psychological and fuelled by emotions more than rational thought, but why do we associate so strongly with the things that surround us? Why do we imbue so much meaning into inanimate objects?
It seems absurd that I can’t part with some knick knack (a.k.a. ‘dust collector’) or a pair of shoes I hardly ever wear, but for some reason I find it hard. These objects and the feelings around them have a hold on me.
It doesn’t help that many things I am gripping onto are things from my Dad and Nan who have both passed away, but I also know that my memories of them are truly not dependent on these physical reminders.
My Dad and I often went to the speedway to see the sprint cars. One birthday he bought me a bag and a t-shirt which he had signed by my favourite driver. I will never forget this birthday yet I struggle to give away the bag I never use, or to throw out the signed t-shirt despite it being manky and old.
I know I don’t need the shirt to remind me of that great night, yet it seems that by getting rid of it, I am somehow also throwing out that special memory or devaluing it in some way. I know that my memories and love for those around me are not tied up in objects, yet it is hard to let go without feeling some guilt or anxiety.
It has got me wondering…
“Do we grip so tightly to our possessions because we don’t trust ourselves to remember?”
“Do we think that by giving things away we are also giving a little of ourselves away too?”
I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I am really intrigued by our associations with objects and possessions. I look forward to your responses. Until then, I’m off to keep unpacking and sorting through more ‘stuff.’ :-)
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