August 8, 2018
“Keeping baggage from the past will leave no room for the happiness in the future”
Wayne L. Misner
As I continue to downsize and declutter I now wish that I had not saved so much stuff. I especially wish I had been more realistic in my purchases as I again realize some of my books have been waiting so long to be read that their content is now obsolete.
The good news is that I feel pretty good about the expected results of my effort. I think it would be easier if I had read the following abridged article years ago and taken it’s advice.
The Power We Give to Objects is Really Inside Us
As we declutter, it’s amazing to ask exactly why we acquired all this stuff, and why we hold on to it with attachment. And then we realize how much power we give to all these objects. Imagine what would happen if we could realize that the power isn’t outside of us, but is in us all along.
Some common cases:
1.Security: Buying a lot of stuff makes a lot of people feel secure. If everything crashes, at least we have all this stuff, right? Actually, security is within: being mindful of fear and meditating on it without being reactive to it, learning skills and developing options so that we can survive in many situations, staying lean so we aren’t deeply in debt or overburdened with bills, and in the end, developing the trust that we’ll be OK just as we are.
2.Approval: Lots of us try to buy nice things to impress other people — we don’t usually admit that to ourselves, but in the end, we want the approval of others. In the end, it’s all about wanting others to approve. What if we just approved ourselves? Easier said than done, but the power to approve us is within us, if we stop looking for outside approval. Declutter to take care of yourself, for your own personal growth, not to get the approval of others. Do good things for yourself, and start to love yourself exactly as you are.
3.Comfort: Just the act of buying things can be a way of comforting ourselves, like eating comfort food when we’re stressed. But lots of times, we buy possessions to give ourselves comfort: a nicer mattress or sofa, a plush carpet or convenient kitchen gadgets. There is nothing wrong with these things, but it’s also useful to note that we’re giving these things the power to comfort us.
4.Identity & value: Possessions can often give us a sense of identity and value — a trophy makes us feel accomplished, having nice ski equipment or a surfboard makes us feel outdoorsy, having lots of books can make us feel smart or intellectually accomplished. But the truth is, the way we feel about ourselves doesn’t really come from the objects — it’s an internal process, all coming from within.
5.Memories and love: We can’t bear to get rid of things because they represent amazing memories, and the love of the people who gave them to us. But the memories aren’t in the objects! They’re in our heads, and a simple digital photo can remind us of the memories, especially if we remind ourselves to browse through the digital photo album regularly. And the love from these people aren’t in the objects! It’s in our hearts. We only need to feel that love from within, and no object can actually give us that.
6.Hope and aspiration: We hold onto exercise or sports equipment we never use because we have hopes that we’ll do them in the future. We hold onto 100 books because we have aspirations to read them in the future. But what if we realized that we don’t need all of those hopes for our future selves? We can let go of it. And just be content right now. Leaving open incredible possibilities for the future, but being realistic that we’ll only be able to focus on what’s truly important in the near future.
There is some great power in realizing the things we think our objects do for us. And there is even more incredible power in realizing that we have that power inside us, no objects required. Knowing that, we can let go of anything not giving us true utility.
Anything that costs you more hours of effort or worry than it brings you hours of enjoyment is a candidate for downsizing.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Nathan is talking to his lawyer. “Here’s the deal, Abe. If you’re absolutely sure I’ll win the case, I’ll give you the business.”
“OK,” replies Abe, “but before I can give you my opinion, I obviously need to know the facts.”
So Nathan goes into great detail about his failed partnership and ends up saying, “So now you’ve heard everything, do you think I can sue my partner and get my money back?”
“Well,” replies Abe, “from what I’ve just heard, it’s clear to me that you will win. It’s rare to have such an open-and-shut case.”
Nathan goes very white when he hears this.
“What’s the matter?” asks Abe.
“I told you my partner’s side of the case,” replies Nathan.
Always remember you’re unique. Just like everyone else.
The blonde reported for her University final examination which consists of “yes/no” type questions. She takes her seat in the examination hall, stares at the question paper for five minutes, and then in a fit of inspiration takes her purse out, removes a coin and starts tossing the coin and marking the answer sheet – Yes for Heads and No for Tails. Within a half an hour, she is all done whereas the rest of the class is sweating it out. During the last few minutes, she is seen desperately throwing the coin, swearing and sweating.
The moderator, alarmed, approaches her and asks what is going on.
“I finished the exam in half an hour. But,” she says, “I am rechecking my answers.”
Everybody at the FBI seems to be a special agent. Don’t they have any regular ones?
Safety was job one at my company. During a safety training course, the instructor asked our group, “Does your company have an evacuation plan in place?”
“Yes,” said one employee, “and it works without a hitch!”
“Really?” said the instructor. “How’d you do that?”
“We practice every day at five o’clock.”
I am self unemployed.
The bank manager noticed the new clerk was an idiot at counting money and adding up figures.
“Where did you get your finance education?” he asked.
“Yale,” replied the lad.
“And what’s your name?” barked the manager.
“Yim Yohnston,” he replied.
“Get rid of clutter and you may just find that it was blocking the door your’ve been looking for”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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