We are not our things.
So then why are we letting our attachment to them run our lives?
It can be easy to get caught up in the rat race and the acquiring of shiny things and lose sight of what’s actually providing value to your life. This doesn't mean that it’s bad to drive a certain type of car or own a large house or that you can’t appreciate an object that is made of quality materials. The issue arises when we attach who we are as a person to the things that we have acquired. We need to ask ourselves what we want out of life and which things are adding value to our lives.
“We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.” -Tyler Durden
Letting go of things that are no longer serving us or adding value to our current life situation can be difficult. We attach memories and meaning to objects, but we need to remember that nothing has any meaning other than the meaning we give it.
By letting go of material items we free up mental space and allow our focus and energy to shift towards the things that are important today. Maybe you have equipment in storage from an old hobby or sport that you used to do/play. Taking this stuff out of storage and asking yourself if you're still interested in this hobby makes you face the fact that you don't want to be spending time in that area or maybe you do and it's time to make an effort to spend more time doing that thing you used to enjoy.
If you decide you're not going to be needing that equipment in the next year, get rid of it and stop feeling bad that you haven't made time for that thing that you don't enjoy doing anymore. This act of letting stuff go is freeing because it allows you to explore new hobbies or activities that you want to do in your life now.
The hardest things to let go of are sentimental items that we have attached a lot of meaning to. Maybe you have fancy china that was passed down from three generations that is just sitting in a cupboard somewhere never getting used because you're afraid to break it.
My advice is to get rid of your everyday plates and bust out that special china. We can attach so much meaning to things, that we’re scared of losing or breaking them and don't even end up using them! Please don't think I'm saying to not take care of your stuff, but there’s a difference between maintaining and caring for your things and tucking them away in a safe spot where they are never used or enjoyed for their purpose.
Over the past couple years I have been slowly getting rid of the things that I no longer use. This experience has become a lot more about just decluttering my space; it has shown me that I can let go of the mindsets and limits that I’ve set on myself for how I should live my life and allowed me to pursue a life that truly makes me happy.
That thing that you need to let go of might not be a physical item at all, it might be an old belief that’s holding you back from trying something new or pursuing a big goal. Start with letting go of the physical items that are no longer serving you and hopefully while in the process of shedding old things, you'll be able to shed some old habits and ideas that have been holding you back as well.
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -Antoine de Saint-Exupery