Why do we place such a huge importance on material things? Many of our possessions have a monetary value that we hold in high regard, as often we have paid for these items with money earned through hard work that we’ve maybe saved long and hard to buy. Therefore, they are not simply “things”, but representations of our own perceived worth.
Sentimental souvenirs or gifts from those we love, have even more significance as these objects have a little piece of our heart attached to them.
But it isn’t until we perhaps experience an event in our lives that make us re-evaluate what these material objects really mean to us that we can practice detachment. Being able to remove ourselves from our possessions gives us a certain sense of liberation that we cannot imagine until we go through this.
There have been several events in my own life that have shown me this. We have been victims of flooding’s, burglaries, and necessary house moves that have meant taking less and less with us each time. When our precious things are taken from us, initially its painful, as we feel such a sense of loss. But once that feeling fades, we can begin to feel the liberty that awaits us at the other side of disaster.
But the true gift that comes with detachment from material objects is the eye-opening realisation that these things do not in fact define us at all. We are not simply owners of houses, cars, laptops, phones, or even photos, and souvenirs. Not one of these items can be taken with us when we pass from this plane of existence into the next. What’s more when we remove ourselves from them, after a little time we can hardly recall what we even have that’s so very important to us. What we do long for, isn’t a possession, but the love of our friends and family. To lose that is to lose a fundamental part of ourselves, a part that exists long after this life we live is over. Our connection to our loved ones is the true definition of who we are. To know that love is with us in our hearts wherever we are or whatever difficulties we face in our lives is something that cannot be taken from us by disasters, or misfortune. It carries us and cradles us, lending us strength and courage to face another day. No amount of material objects will give us this comfort, however much they are worth.
So whether you choose detachment or it chooses to invite you to it through circumstance, embrace it. Things are replaceable, you can always buy another later, when you can pay for it. My own steps, or maybe jolts have been necessary for me to accept the comfort that being able to detach has provided.
As long as you can provide a roof, some warmth and some food, then you are blessed. You will be ok!
But the biggest blessing in your life is the love of your family and your friends. Your life goes from Ok to incredible, as you realise that nothing else matters more.