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Stuff doesn’t make us happy. Moments do.
Dieting, self-improvement, enlightenment…the search continues for a better version of ourselves. The constant battle to get to that special “place” where we feel the most happy is our lot in life, it seems. We read books about growth and spirituality. We purchase healing oils. We buy the stuff.
For some reason, we’re convinced and conditioned to think the path to happiness requires improvement or “more” of some kind. Bigger jobs (congratulations on your increased stress levels), higher education (never a bad thing, but boy is it expensive, and to be frank, you can sort of do it on your own at your local library), moving to a “nicer” or more spacious home in a “better” part of town (good for you, so now what?).
Improving our circumstances is equivalent to acquiring and maintaining more stuff, toys, and things.
But do we really need to do and have it all to find and feel more joy?
We read countless articles about simplification and how material things and “bigger, better, faster, more” never leads to peace, yet we still fall into relentless marketing traps. At least I do. I know in my heart that living a simplified life lends itself to next level clarity, yet I’m still hypnotized by shiny things. Like a moth to the flame, I want all the things! Especially those slouchy jumpsuits on Instagram.
I play the thrift store game too. If I’m “thrifting” it, and not spending a lot of money, buying “all the things” is easily justified. Now I have a barn full of all the things—but I’m still looking for more. Which makes me wonder: what is it I’m really looking for?
Recently, my pseudo brother in law posted the following:
“I spend the first 2/3 of my life acquiring stuff that doesn’t matter, only to spend the last 1/3 of my life getting rid of it. What a stupid game of consumerism we play.” ~ Linda Morman Stichtenoth
We live. We eventually die. All of us. Not one of us gets out alive. And we certainly can’t bring it with us.
And so, with that, I’m stepping toward a different way.
I’m making an active choice to release toxic energy energy daily, and it has become super power. Peace, productivity, and enjoying creative endeavors while spending quality time with “my tribe” is all I ever need. The occasional trip to a thrift store or getting something new brings me a little fun, but that’s all it is, and I’m careful.
Resetting is joy because peace comes along for the ride when we allow ourselves to gain new perspective. Listening to what I need instead of being told what I need puts me in control. Unlearning old habits (like hoarding) freshens my spirit.
Life is a trudge along. It’s Monday through Friday. It’s survival mode with a few laughs sprinkled in. It’s trying to feel connected and inspired. It’s validation seeking and endless juggling. It’s words and pictures and ticking time and wading through the junk and loose ends inside our own minds.
Then, dear friend, it’s over.
A few weeks ago, I contemplated the fragility of life. I went for a mammogram, and they found a spot. I had to go back in. I wasn’t scared, but with the news, there was a reset. A perspective change. None of the sh*t I think matters actually matters. What matters is my peace, and that means being happy inside instead of consumed by all the stuff I think I want on the outside.
Recognizing and letting go of the toxic energy that compels me to consume has become my superpower.
In other words, I won’t be buried with my mid-century modern glass vases or my turn of the century earthen-ware bowls.