“The material world is infinite, but it is a boring infinity. The really interesting infinity lies beyond.” – Unknown (How To Know God, Deepak Chopra)
I think we all talk a pretty good game, proclaiming that it’s what’s inside that counts. Money doesn’t bring us happiness and material things don’t matter, right? But how many of us can actually commit to that philosophy? I don’t think I know anyone who lives a life without a little or a lot of stuff. Stuff that we don’t need, stuff that projects an image and stuff that lifted our spirits at the checkout, but has since become a dusty piece of crap destined to life a live of charity shops and eventually the local tip.
I’m certainly not sat here with a halo above my head, living a life of minimalistic bliss. Don’t get me wrong. But as the years tick by on my life, the material stuff I’ve bought into and had planned on buying into has become much less appealing.
I’ve never been a big spender, mainly because I’ve never got any money to spend. I have however got myself into debt because I liked the sound of a cash register and the clip clop of a new pair of shoes walking down the street. Now as I stare at the debt amount I racked up, I couldn’t tell you where that money went or what I’ve got to show for it.
Over the past few months I’ve been having a pretty cut throat clean out. Shoes, clothes, bags, homewares, artwork, books and other things that I once decided was a ‘must have’ which has quickly became redundant. What were these things actually giving me on an authentic level?
Sure, the candle holder was a steal and the pair of five inch boots gave me some extra height. The problem was, I never put a candle in the holder and I never crossed the front door in the heels. So what was the point?
As I’ve thrown out lipsticks I’m never going to wear, mugs I don’t drink out of and vintage picture frames which were lined up in a cupboard, something quite satisfying has happened. My head feels clearer. Decluttering and letting go of material objects has actually given me a space to breathe.
I used to sit at this desk with drawers overspilling with bits of paper, pens, notepads, wires, electrical items and a shit load of nik-naks. Now all that remains is the essentials and it’s making it easier to write this and focus my attention on the task at hand.
Not only does decluttering make our lives that much more organised and cleaner, but stripping away that level of importance for material objects really helps me to focus on being a better human being. Not just for myself, but for others too. Why are we shackled by brands, trending products and Instagram worthy fashion?
I like nice things and certain brands appeal to me on an aesthetic level, of course. But I’m not going to bust my balls making money to afford them, unless they really are worth it. We’re not on this planet to clock into a job just to keep on top of the latest fad. We’re also not living, breathing humans just to put ourselves onto a monthly payment plan for a pair of trainers we can’t afford. Who needs that stress and up keep? It’s damaging and it only appears to get worse.
Kylie Jenner brings out a lipstick and suddenly you’ve got 12 year old girls pressuring their parents to buy a product which is worth a couple of pounds, at best. It’s a dangerous message and social media with all of it’s influence and power is setting the tone for years to come while moulding a generation of brand worshipping slaves.
Worshipping material objects is fruitless and completely unimportant in our journey through this world. Owning a Chanel handbag isn’t going to find you love, it’s not going to cure a family members disease and it’s certainly not going to complete you.
Owning the latest model of Audi isn’t going to help progress your career or raise your children to be model citizens. Only you can do that. You could drive a three wheel van and still accomplish your goals.
But it’s not just expensive shit that I’m talking about. I’m talking about the weekly trip to Primark, where you buy a tonne of clothes you’ll wear one week and want to throw them out the next. Not only is it completely damaging to our planet and other human beings lives, but it’s a complete waste of your hard earned pounds.
Material objects mean nothing. Who you are as a person, to yourself and to the world, is everything.