What is materialism? Right when you searched through google, you will find the same definition reworded differently but this particular one stood out to me the most. “Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all phenomena are the result of material interactions.” Being described as monistic means that matter is the supreme and ultimate source of life, happiness and all the different kinds of emotion. That sudden spin of one’s world around material possessions. This saddens me, because to honestly admit, I was once that too. Materialistic.
To have a glimpse of this old habit, let me tell you a little bit about my past. If you knew me for the past few years, you will know how much I shopped or the fact that my room looked like a department store. Having to previously work at a mall for two years didn’t help but rather contributed to this outcome. One side of my room is filled with 60 handbags, 120 pairs of shoes, jewelries stacked and piled; 7 being designer watches, and a drawer filled of endless make-up. One door that opens for a closet filled with clothes, and another external clothes rack for more. Considering that I go on a fall and spring cleaning. Twice a year of thinning out a crowded space. I am in no way bragging of what I have, for I am now actually ashamed. This is just a mental picture of what i was, and what I’m now currently trying to change.
This short story I’m about to tell you didn’t seem to be significant back then. But as time passed and as I grew and matured each day, I’ve finally arrived at many realizations.
As I lay in my room, starring at all my possessions, I realized; I don’t need all of these. I have one set of feet, pair of ears, and one body to dressed. What am I supposed to do with all these stuff that surrounds me, wear them all at once? It’s excessive. Why did I shopped so much? Every time I was stressed from school or work, I took my self shopping. Every time I was sad, I took myself shopping. Every time I was bored, I took myself shopping. All these negative emotions were suddenly flipped around with the possession of another material object. In other words, things made me happy. Things. Objects that are so lifeless are what made me feel so alive.
I have this shelf that I used to place my books in, that became a home for 20 pairs of my heels. This book shelf, now a shoe-rack was previously located inside my room. My mom hated it, she would make up all sorts excuses for me to place it in the hallway of our home. She would say that “if I entrapped the smell of leather in my room, I might get sick”, or “the dirt accumulated on the sole of my shoes will caused me to get sick”, or as simple as “your room will smell like feet”. I didn’t want to take them out of my room, I liked keeping them in. No reasons. I just simply liked seeing them. The thought of having them out of sight made me feel as if i was letting go of what made me happy.
I kept buying one after another and another after that, in the thoughts that material things is the ultimate happiness. These material objects made me so happy and proud because I’ve purchased all of them with my own money earned from days of hard work. ( at least those that aren’t gifted).
Materialism made me happy. How pathetic is that? I was so engulfed with the society’s newest trends. What’s in and what’s not. Unconsciously manipulated by these toxic worldly things. Instantaneously, I became just another product of this cunning world; lifeless and even more confused.
This young girl who once thrived on her own is now washed out, flipped around, and stomped on layers and layers of what the world deceived as perfection. If you have “this” and if you have “that,” you can be perfect. But the world’s views on “perfection”, is rather endless; it will never cease and it will keep on growing incessantly.
Here I am, writing this blog. Ranting about how the world had poisoned me and how I let myself conformed to the society. I’ve written all these much just to get to this point:
I no longer want to be lifeless. I no longer want to conform to this toxic world. I no longer want to be just a product of today’s society. I want to cleanse away the poison that I became part of. I want to bring back the colors that I once had. I no longer want to be part of this materialistic matter. So what did I do?
I went on a search for the true meaning of happiness. And for this journey to be a success, I had to rid myself with material possessions. It was difficult in the beginning for materialism has been a part of me for a while now. A bad habit that I once didn’t know I suffered from. Having to admit, was just the first step. Having to rid of it, is another difficult process. I cleaned out my closet with the excessive things I possessed. Thinned out, took out, omitted plenty of my belongings.
One by one, as I let go, I instantly gain this sudden lift in my chest every time one object is tossed away after another. One baggage eradicated. Materialism no longer existed. A huge room in my heart was created. I finally at once destroyed, eliminated and withdrew from my love of material things. And I now immediately have more capacity for love. Love for myself; for who I really am disregards of all the worldly manipulations. Love for my family and friends. For the new found love of meaningful relationships and creating new lifelong friendships. Priceless and lively.