There is this mentality of giving that I’ve been working to make a natural habit in my life. I want to freely give. I don’t want to be attached to things, but if you’ve read a few of my others posts (Letting Go, Letting Go – part 2, and The Joys of Letting Go), you may have seen that I struggle removing things from my life that have sentimental value to them.
To recap, I’ve been downsizing the accumulation of things I’ve somehow gained in just three short years of owning a home, and I still have so much. I was just talking to my friend about how it drives me INSANE. There is a small pile in every corner of my house that has already been sorted through, yet a pile still remains. No, our house does not look like there are piles of crap everywhere. These piles are hidden, and that’s the problem: I know where the piles are, and the mere thought of trying to make these piles smaller gives me anxiety. In addition to piles, I still have hundreds of articles of clothing – all pieces that I insist must stay in my ownership for my own peace of mind. Except there is no peace in my mind about any of this.
Enter: My curly, red-headed friend. Has one of the best laughs in the world. Had a giant crush on Elijah Wood in seventh grade. (You know who you are.)
She posted this article on Facebook a couple weeks back called Gluttony: The Socially Acceptable Sin by Relevant Magazine. Bear and I stopped subscribing to this hipster Christianity magazine a while back, but every once in a while they seem to write something that I take a lot of value out of. This particular article did just that.
I started reading and stumbled across their definition of gluttony: “The soul’s addiction to excess. It occurs when taste overrules hunger, when want outweighs need”. Honestly, I didn’t have to read more than that before I made my way up the stairs, into our bedroom, and into the closet. I had been using two large shelves as storage for a bunch of articles of clothing that I didn’t want to part with for over a month. I told myself (a month ago) that if I didn’t miss this shirt or those pants over the course of thirty days I would eliminate them from my life. It sounds impressive, but it’s not because I still had enough of an attachment to a freaking garment that I had to keep it around for thirty days. IT’S A GARMENT, SAM! I could write another post simply discussing how much some of these articles of clothing mean to me. Though I probably won’t end up writing that, I also won’t make you go through listening to the silly stories. (You know how they go though! “I wore this shirt for this camp in high school,” or “This was the shirt I went ____ in.” Yeah, you know you have them!)
Anyway, the article inspired me to such a degree that I unfolded each item and placed it on the bed. It wasn’t long before I had two blank shelves in the closet, and a few giant piles of clothing on the bed. It is truly embarrassing that I own this much. (I was going to take a few photos, but they wouldn’t have shown to scale how large the piles actually were.) As per usual, I kept my journal at hand to write about certain sentimental pieces so I will always remember them. Kidding, people! Totally kidding! Okay, not fully kidding. Writing about the sentimental things helps me to actually discard them. I am under the impression that one day I will not need to do this, but currently…
I ended up having one hundred and eight items to get rid of. That wouldn’t be so embarrassing if that was all I had, but unfortunately that is only my pile of things I don’t wear anymore. But, I’m trying not to tear myself down for my insufficiencies. A step is a step, and I took one. Celebrate the small things.
So, I have everything in a beautiful, wrinkle-free pile. What to do with it next seems to be the problem…
I want to be someone who freely gives, but many of the articles are clothing are worth much more than free. I can find a way to make money off of them and still have a giving heart, right? Maybe.
You can read the full version of the article I referenced about gluttony here.