A couple weekends ago I cleaned out my closet. I gave away almost four giant trash bags full of clothes, shoes, and accessories. Some of it was old stuff, dating back to high school and I wondered why I still had it. Some of it was clothes or shoes that I had bought but never really wore. It felt good to clear out my closet but it made me realize just how much stuff I collect over time. It made me really wonder why I had so much stuff in the first place. Was there a void I was trying to fill?
We’re all in love with stuff– with shopping, acquiring, owning and collecting. What happens when this obsession with stuff becomes unhealthy? When we have voids in our lives, we tend to buy things. When we have problems, we buy things. This obsession leads to owning a lot of stuff, and a lot of clutter. But no matter how much we buy, it doesn’t give meaning to our lives.
Why not replace that lust for stuff with a lust for life? Here are some ways I’ve brainstormed that can help us love life without needing the stuff.
Fuel Your Passions.
Get outside. Feel nature. When you’re feeling depressed or anxious, instead of logging onto Amazon and buying three cookbooks (guilty), appreciate the beauty of the world around you. Go for a walk, a bike ride, plant some flowers, or cook an enjoyable meal for your family.
My younger brother, Dave, is a wise man. For his 18th birthday last year, he asked for “experiences” instead of gifts. He already had everything he needed- a phone, computer, plenty of clothes, a few video games, the average items you’d expect the average high schooler to need. My sister and I bought him a Groupon for a 6 person archery tour and we took a trip with our boyfriends and our Dad and spent almost six hours learning archery and walking through an archery course. Now, isn’t that better than a new sweater?
Call a friend.
This sounds like a life line from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, but it works. When you’re feeling lonely or overwhelmed, nothing helps more than reaching out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time. Reconnect, vent, and soon you’ll be laughing together and you’ll forget what you were anxious about.
Real life matters, not stuff.
Objects are just objects. If you lose them, they get stolen or destroyed, it’s not a big deal. They’re just objects, not your life. Your life is every moment that passes by and what you fill those moments with is what truly matters, not what fills your home.
Let’s lust after life instead.