The Need for Things is a Powerful Impulse

The day after Thanksgiving at a Walmart on the East Coast shoppers broke down the entrance door and killed a store employee in a stampede to get to the Christmas sale items. Later on two more people died. Some shoppers were irritated that they were delayed by the police and ambulances.

The power of the need for things is amazing. It stems from our feeling that what we are isn't enough. We believe when we get certain things we become more. It's alluring to imagine that we can be more. It's intoxicating. There's power in that concept. What happens is we get more things and we feel a surge of powerfulness. But then that feeling dies down and we feel like we're not enough again. So we acquire more things.

Christmas is a time that reminds us of the power of the need for things. There is a tension in the month of December that is noticable. It's common for people to get more irritable than usual. It's an unnatural feeling to have to spend a lot of time shopping in stores and online for gifts to satisfy others' needs for things. And there's the hope that the people close to you will satisfy your needs with things. There's tension because intuitively we know that the joy from getting things is short lived. There's the rush of receiving the item and then there's the let down. You're still the same person. The things haven't made you more. You just have more things. More things to take care of, and since you can only use one thing at a time, more decisions to make on what to use next. It can be taxing to have too many choices.

Things in and of themselves are not bad. If something actually serves you in your life it has value. This holiday season you can take a new approach. During the month of December it would be good to go through the things that you currently have in your living space and see what makes a difference in your life. What items of clothing make you feel good on a regular basis? What pieces of furniture do you like sitting on or using? What things do you have on your walls and table tops that you like looking at? What music do you enjoy listening to? What friends mean a lot to you? What activities make you feel good?

You can also notice the things that you don't have a connection with. What gets ignored? What is buried under other things? What makes you irritated? What activities or people make you feel tired and listless? The things that don't ignite you on a regular basis don't have a place in your life anymore. If they don't now, they probably won't later. Letting them go is a great start to creating joy this holiday season. It's a great holiday present to give to yourself. There are peace of mind and happiness that comes in letting go of the clutter. Those are feelings that you used to associate with getting things. Except now you can enjoy the long-lasting effects of these feelings with the increased space you create in your life.

As you create more space in your life you get your clarity back. Perhaps intuitively you sense there are one or two things that you can bring into your life that would nourish you. They would complement the things that are already making a difference in your life. Maybe you get a massage, or buy yourself a book you always wanted to read, or you take someone to dinner that matters to you. Maybe you take some time for yourself. You go away to a quiet place for a day or weekend. The size or the cost of the gift doesn't matter. What's nutritious for your heart?