Attachment to Things

Letting go of certain things is hard because we might have an attachment to them.

Maybe it’s something we’d been eyeing for a long time before we got it. Or it’s a gift from our loved one, that there are certain memories associated with it. Also, we are often deeply attached to something/someone we have invested so much into – time, energy, and of course, money.

For me, there’s always a psychological side of owning things. For example, as a kid I felt that my parents granted me freedom and independence when they started to let me choose my own things i.e. shoes for school. I felt big being a seven-year-old who could chose. That pair of shoes belonged to me. The decision of the purchase came from me.

Some kids have attachment to things even earlier. Blanket, toys and sleeping spot they couldn’t let go.

As an adult, there’s a sense of achievement that came with my house and car purchases, as if there are the big milestones that confirm my adulthood. We tend to feel that possessions reflects who we really are, or at least plays a role on how we would like to be perceived.

On the contrary, when I started the minimalism journey, I used to think that it’s gonna be awesome if I am able to leave everything behind.

However, now I realize that it is not necessary and doesn’t align with my priorities. Ownership to things are somehow inevitable. We are still dependent to material possessions that exist in our life not just for the sake of display.

We still need certain things to live and function. As I said before, minimalism is not extreme and radical.

So, my minimalist approach now is to be aware of how I assign meanings to my things – to identify the emotion and psychological beliefs towards my existing possessions and purchases. The meanings should focus on the functions that ease my daily life – how they add value to my priority.

I just don’t treat them as people or trophies. Not like how I will treat my kids, definitely. I don’t give them names and sleep with them.

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Should you buy something you don’t really need just to validate myself? NO, you shouldn’t – only do so if it has a function that solve a current problem. If you lose ‘the material thing’, should you be sad because of the attachment you have? NO you shouldn’t – just get a new one if it’s so important. Should you lose everything? NO, you shouldn’t either – by all means, please own all the necessaries.