42. The Purge

Good morning and welcome to your forty-second meditation. Do you ever feel like you’ve got too much stuff? Like your belongings are cluttering up your living space, and, as a result, your whole life feels a bit cluttered as well? One problem with having too much stuff is that it can obscure the value of what you have. If your belongings that you value most are buried within an excess of things you have no use for, it’s easy to forget about the very existence of that which you value, let alone be able to appreciate its personal importance and significance for you. In our turbo-charged consumerist world, there is an alarmingly greater emphasis placed on acquisition than on what is practical or sentimentally significant. We are persuaded at every turn to get the latest model of such-and-such product; to update and stay current. We are held in the sway of mass-marketing campaigns that effectively pit us against one another in a race of gaudy and conspicuous consumption, where the type, novelty, and amount of products you own determine your social value or status. And amidst this consumer chaos, we can forget what is meaningful to us personally. The private value of things. The value of being free of things. And the value that we make for ourselves, within ourselves, that is independent of having and is instead about being. Who are you? And would you be any less you without all your possessions? What of your possessions are most intimately linked to who that person is inside of you? Which are extraneous? Ask yourself these questions from time to time. Have a day, say, once a month, when you take stock of all your belongings, and assess what could be gotten rid of. And then… get rid of it. Donate it if you can. There is likely someone who will get more use out of it than you do. 

By regularly asking yourself what of your belongings you really need and don’t need, you will be practising a kind of mindfulness about what you own; about what is in your space. And that will bring mindfulness to what you acquire as well. And you will see that your whole life will become a little freer and more streamlined as a result. Keep it up. You’re doing great. Have a wonderful day.

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