Reflections on The Meaning of Things
The meaning of things and my recent reflections. I take my daily walk at the mall when the weather turns cold. Lately, I’ve enjoyed watching the stores transform themselves with the decorations of the holiday season. At the same time, I’ve become an expert at dodging holiday shoppers preoccupied with their shopping objectives. They are often carrying lots of packages while managing their children, and aren’t always aware of the foot traffic around them. I focus on staying alert so I can avoid collisions!
When I stop walking and just listen to the conversations of the those around me, there is a lot of talk about buying this and getting that. There is much discussion about where to go to get the next item on the list. There is a focus on things. Its sounds and feels very hectic.
When I was in college, I read a book about the meaning of things. It helped me to understand how we develop this fascination with things. The author believed that the attachment we have to a thing has much to do with the amount of emotional energy we invest in it. Let me give you an example. Last holiday season, my husband gave me a very nice pair of earrings. I loved them and even helped him pick them out. I was attached to them. Shortly after the holiday, I lost one of the earrings. I was sad about this and talked to my husband about it. He said, “It will show up”. He then let it go. I followed his lead and stopped talking about it. Occasionally thoughts of the earrings show up, and again I let them go. I can’t change the reality. The earring is gone. It was a thing carrying an emotional investment. How important is this really? Maybe it will show up. Maybe not.
When we invest a lot of energy and emotion into something like receiving or giving the perfect gift, we end up fretting about the possibility of it not being perfect, or of it not being received as we imagined it would be. How do we deal with this stress? Something to think about…
Personally, rather than give energy to things in my life and the lives of my loved ones and friends, I prefer to give gifts of experiences. I invite a friend out to lunch or dinner, or I take a family member to an event. Experiences invite my loved ones to be in the moment. Good memories are created and these good memories last. Unlike an earring, they can’t be lost!
Big Hugs and Much Love,