Sunday, 4 August 2013

The possession obsession

Is a lot of your time taken up looking after all your things?  Tasks like washing, drying, folding and packing away, picking up, washing up, cleaning, maintaining, painting, mowing, detailing and working longer hours to earn  enough money to pay for all these things and buy some more.  Is your pantry full of food and you still don't know what to have for dinner?  Does any of this really bring you great joy?   I almost feel smothered, physically, emotionally and spiritually, by the stuff, the responsibility, the financial burden of all that surrounds me.

I think I am trapped in a possession obsession, which helps makes some people very rich but just keeps most of the world enslaved, destroying our souls, distracting us from what is truly important.

I look at our gorgeous girls, filled with so much love and fun, learning new and amazing things every single day and I do not want them to go to school, get a good education and earn money just so they can spend their entire lifetime wanting and needing more stuff.  Surely there is more, this can not be our purpose.  I do not want to be a rich fool and I do not want to raise our children to be rich fools.

I do love nice things, I agree with the mantra 'Life is short, live beautifully'.  There are spectacularly beautiful things everywhere, it is truly special to be able to own some of these beautiful items, but we don't need to own all of them!  I entered the workforce in 1999 and nearly every cent I have earned in that time has been spent on me, on creating and maintaining a lifestyle that I enjoy, buying clothes, shoes, going to the hairdresser, purchasing magazines and books, travelling around Australia, buying gifts, a car and a family home etc.  None of these things are bad, I have not lived excessively but I have lived greedily and selfishly and I still do.  In this time I could have put a lot more of this money to greater use, I could have sponsored more children, invested more heavily in projects that genuinely improve the life of others, respected each dollar for what it was, a gift and a blessing to be used to bless the lives of others.  I have not used this money wisely.

I still don't have the urge to get rid of all my things, I am not courageous or committed enough to sell all my possessions and give the money to the poor and then live a very meagre existence.  However, I am going to consciously work on my attitude and approach to the purchases I do make.  As a family we will look at all our things and donate what we don't really need and then be much more stringent about the items that do enter our house, and be much more purposeful when we buy gifts for others. 

I will always love beautiful things, these are precious gifts for us to enjoy and appreciate, but I do not want this short, beautiful and amazing time I have on earth to be focussed or obsessed with owning, maintaining, looking after and admiring possessions.  After all, the day I die it all ceases to mean anything at all, my family will probably look at it all and drop it off at the closest op shop.  I don't want my life's worth to be put in some cardboard boxes and dropped out the front of Vinnies.  Do you think you might be trapped in a possession obsession too?

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