When the earth is the gig for which we perform, that which we worship becomes entirely secular…worldly…of this earth. We become materialistic and we become deeply attached to things. We may also attach ideas to these things like, “This boat represents my family time,” as if family needs the boat. Or “This dress represents my appreciation for style,” as if without this dress, no one would see my beauty. Or “Our mansion represents our hard work and hard work makes me a good person,” as if this large home is the measure of our worth.
Living in excess generates an unnatural attachment to material wealth. It is not wrong, and please don’t think I am moralizing here. It just keeps us in a dream of unreality. Don’t be fooled. There are plenty of poor people who are also fantastically attached to their things, as if they operate on the “scarcity principle”, or the idea that resources are limited and they must hoard it and protect it at all costs. Neither of these approaches promote spiritual fitness. They promote fear of loss and an aggression toward those who threaten it.
In essence, it is not about how we justify our earthly possessions. Spiritual growth comes with releasing all of the things we really do not need, or at a minimum holding them loosely, and deciding which things are absolutely sacred. It is also about recognizing all that really is not sacred. It is about truly understanding that the real magic is inside us, within the hearts and minds of the beings that were divinely created.
When my boyfriend left me last summer, I tossed his things immediately. Except for one shirt. Hell, I slept in that old ratty tank top for months. But in the end, I could see that keeping him that close was hurting my ability to let him go. And I needed to let go, to move on, to heal and to rebuild. My attachment to this shirt was undoubtedly causing me more pain because I had this idea that holding on would comfort me, that I would not be able to find joy without him, that I was not enough all by myself, with my own clothes. I had somehow decided that this stained, ripped stupid shirt was necessary.
Eventually, I threw it away.
There were days, and mostly nights, when I regretted it. I missed that ridiculous shirt worn by a man who did not honor me, nor even concern himself with the shards of my heart left behind.
Now I sleep in the nude and snuggle with my stuffed Snoopy. I know it may seem childish, but my childhood was a bit rough, and the original Snoopy was thrown out by a bully. I guess part of my spiritual core knows what is crap and what is sacred. All I am saying is lose the garbage, declutter like a fiend, and take good care of the things that truly nurture your soul. Take serious stock of your inventory and consider what is a weight.
I spent the last year purging that which no longer served my spirit. I also demanded that my adult children remove their things. It was not mine to hold any more. They still come around. I still have a beautiful, full life, two entire dumpsters later. No one would have even known I had that much garbage. I feel lighter, cleaner, more in touch with what is dear to me. I know where every single thing is in my entire house. I feel renewed and wide open with so much more room for my story to continue.