I’ve had a preoccupation with stuff lately, in that I’ve been ridding myself of it, and detaching from it. I’ve also heard a few things on the radio in relation to Black Friday, and here in Canada now there’s Red Thursday, or my personal favourite, Buy Nothing Day. The discussion has been revolving around why so many of us are attached to our stuff and accumulating possessions, and how it can become really problematic.
Now that I’ve finally crossed that threshold of purging myself of the items I no longer want or need, it’s feels good to be able to laugh about what has been a long time, commonly shared problem with so many of us living in our consumer, credit rich and cash poor society, burdened and buried under, dragging it around like an albatross around our necks.
I remember some expert regarding the extreme problem of hoarding, stating that if these things mean so much to us, why are they at a bottom of a pile, in the bottom of a drawer, or long forgotten, and never used. This made so much sense to me. We may or may not be hoarders, but the attachment we have to stuff acts on the same premise.
I think I see it as being similar to addiction. Spiritus contra spiritum is what Carl Jung called it. ” Addiction is an attempt to fill a spiritual void with a material reality. “
This George Carlin video was played on the radio yesterday. It gave me a good laugh, as he always did, and he points out the ridiculousness of our stuff obsession. It’s good to have a sense of humour about our misery. It might even make us happy.
I’ve been pushing myself hard this past month and especially this past week steadily organizing, cleaning, and purging myself of junk. Unreal experience for me because it’s something I’ve put off for not just months, but really for years..
I couldn’t seem to bring myself to getting it done, and it was easy to close the door and ignore it. But that wasn’t working for me anymore, not that it ever did, but I was feeling increasingly weighed down by knowing that I really wanted and needed to rid myself from what had become a burden in my house and more importantly in my mind. The old adage about a cluttered house is a cluttered mind. it so very true. And so some where along the line I made a decision.
I’ve known hoarders and seen the shows that feature people who are out of complete control. The families have to seek the help of professionals to provide an family intervention. I’m not a hoarder but I realize I’ve hung on to the junk, old University papers, clothes and old art that I’ve long out grown or no longer use. Well that’s when you know, it’s time to give them the old heave ho, downsize and de-clutter yourself, mind, body and soul
Junk and clutter has a way of psychologically bringing on a kind of low level depression. The more clutter, the greater the depression. I’ve cleaned out my laundry room, my basement, my bathroom, spare room, and my garage. I still have another spare room to tackle, full of art work. I decided I wasn’t going to stay where I am psychologically, so I can get somewhere else!
I’m going in the right direction I know, because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m feeling pretty darn happy about doing what I don’t want to do!
What Carl Jung said, sure makes a lot of sense to me.
I grew up in the city, pretty much during my childhood, and into my young adult life.. Born in Nova Scotia, at six months of age, my family and I left Nova Scotia, for East end, cross cultural Toronto.
It was full of adventure for me. I’d go on explorations around the neighbourhood and I didn’t worry about much of anything, as long as I had my hamsters and my little friends, I was happy. Those were the days when your mother let you loose to roam free all day, and were only expected to be home for lunch and supper, and before dark.
When I turned nine we’d moved to Caledon, a very rural close knit community. We lived in a big old country house, the United Church manse, and my mother played the organ for the Sunday service, and I was happy to attend to Sunday school every week, while my mother was playing upstairs in the Church. We shared a faith together, and that made me happy because I felt close to her.
I was happy to spend hours sitting on bags of grain at a feed mill down the road with my friends, watching the older kids smoke. We’d pick berries for hours.
I took piano lessons, danced, drew pictures, played with my dog and cat, and loved to steal cucumbers, and then would sit on the fence with a salt shaker in hand and gobble those beauties up one after another.. These delicious cukes were from our neighbour’s garden, two bachelor brothers, we used to affectionately call, Larry and Goo.
I especially loved to visit the local horse, that was directly across the road from our house, in a paddock. No one ever rode him and I didn’t understand why no one seem to pay attention to him. I wanted to but he wasn’t so friendly. I loved that he was so close by, so I could look at him. and dream about having my own horse one day.
We might have lived in Caledon for two years when we moved back again into the city of Guelph, Ontario. I thought I was happy there, but I wasn’t really, until it came time to move again, back to Nova Scotia. I was very upset moving to Nova Scotia, and made my mother miserable, as only a pubescent teenager can do.
I resented my mother, longed to see some sky scrapers,and by now, I was a dyed in the wool, citified kid, and didn’t want to leave my gang of cohorts, who I’d been getting into trouble with on a regular basis, many who were bound for reform school.
It wasn’t until I was well into my very unhappy young adulthood, that I thought about what really made me happy. I reflected on my childhood, and then it dawned on me. I was most happy being creative, living in the country, being close to animals, and to the ocean, which gave me peace and solitude, the kind that nature could provide, that would nurture my soul and restore my faith in the God of my understanding.
And so when I was able to purchase my own place in the country near the ocean, in 1995 I did so, and have never regretted it, and I paid my house off last November, which really made me happy.
I have spent the years doing all things that I did as a kid, that made the hours pass like minutes, and have found the key to my earthly pursuits. And that my friends has made me very happy.