my attachment to things is quite low. i have let yearbooks go. i have let childhood books (both mine and my girls') go. i have let prized flea market finds go...and on and on. on one hand it feels good that things do not own me. for the most part, i am not defined by things.
on the other hand i think that it is possible to become too detached from things. i am at a point now where i have what i need and not too much more. i can still easily look at a shirt in my closet and think, i would be fine with getting rid of that. the only problem is that i do need some shirts to wear. if i let too many things go too easily, i will find myself shopping again.
i've been feeling the tug-of-war between attachment vs. detachment. i don't want my things to own me...and yet, i need to value the things that i have/need in order to value the planet and the people who live on it. i need some sort of attachment to the things i own so that i don't just end up letting things go in order to replace them with something better. if i value the planet and its limited resources, i have to put some value on my things in order to care for them well...and then put effort into mending and repairing them.
if i over-flex my letting go muscle, i could end up in the same cycle of consuming that haulers and hoarders find themselves in. they are accumulating more and more. i would be endlessly purging and buying. i would have less, but would be stuck in the same cycle...one of using people and not valuing anything.
the minimalists like to say, "love people, use things...because the opposite never works." i agree...but there is a point at which tossing "things" a little love has some validity. some love for my things helps me to love people...those people who make the things i need...those people who will come after me and have to deal with all the waste that i've created. in this case maybe it is appropriate to say, "value things, but always value people more".
have you felt this tug-of-war?