written by: Angie
“People are made to be loved and things are made to be used. The confusion in this world is that people are being used and things are being loved”. unknown
Minutes after my mom passed away, we said our good byes and shortly after they came to take her body away. I sat there in her tiny apartment on the couch and little did I know I was about to have one of the most profound moments of my life.
As the burley dark haired men picked her up and wheeled her away, I sat as I watched her leave every earthly possession she owned behind. Her collection of grape designed trinkets, her old leather chest full of memories, her movie collection, her bed, her kitchen, her couches, tables, linens, and clothes. You know what? She didn’t take a single thing she owned with her. Not one thing.
I am a business owner with my husband, so I feel a large responsibility as well as my husband to provide for our children. Sometimes at night I dream of the material things I would want, like a huge tree house, or an amazing pool with a giant rock slide. Yeah, I’m not one for purses or diamonds. ;) But, I am quickly reminded that I have everything I need. Do you have a list of things you want? Do you often think “I will be happy when………”? Think of the material things in your life that are stressing you out right now. What are they? Is your living space too small? Is your car too crappy? Do you hate all of your clothes? Do you wish you had this or that, because you know it would make your life easier or you’d be happier?
It’s true some material things do make our lives easier. The thing is, they aren’t important. I think we all deserve success and should 100% have financial goals and try to meet them. The problem arises when those goals become your first priority in life. When family gets pushed behind, when you become mean and competitive with friends, when all of your relationships become broken, because of the want or obsession for material things, success, power, and glory. It’s easy to get wrapped up in wanting these things especially if our friends or neighbors are purchasing fun new toys, cars, houses etc. It goes along with my sisters post regarding “The Jones”. We get so caught up in out doing each other with money and things of this world we sometimes forget we might be hurting or disregarding the ones we love.
Here are some tips that have helped me, when I get caught up in my pride and the “things of life”.
Stay off Pinterest and don’t cruise the internet. When I see all these amazing houses, clothes, accessories etc. I want it all. Take a break from it and go for a bike ride with your family.
Be very aware of your words. If you find your self saying “Well, when this happens I will be happier”. Try to replace that statement with “I am very happy in my present moment”.
Try taking a break off from work and spend an entire day or afternoon with the ones you love. Give those closest to you, your every attention and forget about the “things” in your life that you want right now.
Have genuine relationships with others. If you are using someone to get you further in life or your business know that in the end karma always comes around. It is important to associate yourselves with successful and uplifting people, but make sure those relationships are healthy and genuine.
Love is almost always the answer and in this case it is love for each other, not for material things. Try being very conscious of each moment this week with those close to you. Practice loving, respecting, and honoring them with your time and attention.
Sometimes we want things to fill a void in our life. If this is the case, then try some self awareness exercises and see if you are are trying to replace something in your life that might not be as wonderful with something material. Many of us have been guilty of this. When I am stressed I eat. :) Some people instantly go shopping to deal with stress. It is okay to use that as a stress reliever, as long as it is done responsibly and not habitually.
I want you to know it is perfectly okay to want things. Things are an awesome part of life. They make the mundane fun and life exciting, but simplicity is also a joyful way of living. In the end, your possessions will not join you. You will leave them all behind. In the end your life will be remembered not by your possessions, but by the way you loved and treated the ones you possess.
Hope on. Journey on.