March 10, 2020

Consider the Energy

March of Trash asks you to take action on clutter every day for a month.

Some of the things you own just don’t feel good to have, even if you use them for something important. There is something off in their energy.

The most common way this can happen is that there is energy put into the object by a previous owner, the person who gave it to you, or the business that sold it. Like cigarette smoke on a secondhand blanket, this creates an energetic shadow over the item that drags on the energy of anyone who comes near it.

Your thoughts about where something came from and your own history with the item naturally affect the way you feel about the item. Strike out too many times with the same baseball bat, and you might well be looking for a different bat, even if you can’t prove there is anything wrong with the bat itself. A beautiful gift that came from a difficult person may not look so beautiful to you. The item you bought in a crisis situation may have a feeling around it that comes from the crisis, and that feeling could be triumph or despair depending on the precise sequence of emotions and events you experienced.

If something you own has a negative association — whenever you see it, it reminds you of something you would rather not be faced with — then you might not be the right person to own that item. Even if it doesn’t seem fully rational in an economic sense, you could be better off giving away the phone that once belonged to your ex-boyfriend and buying a new one. A person who doesn’t know the story behind the item can use it without facing the emotional weight that it might hold for you.

Sometimes the brand of a product takes on new meaning after you buy it. Cool becomes uncool, a previously reliable brand turns dodgy, or the celebrity designer of a product is convicted of a heinous crime and goes off to jail. If you tell yourself “it’s still the same product that it was when I bought it” but you worry anyway, consider whether you could get a happier replacement item. Few material possessions are so important that they are worth worrying over.

More prosaically, many products eventually show so much wear and tear that you don’t like them anymore. I remember replacing a chair after a board had broken off one side. The chair still functioned, but the way it looked did not inspire confidence, and confidence matters when you are asking a person to sit on a piece of furniture.

It is not always enough to ask whether something still functions and whether you can use it. If a thing bothers you or you don’t like to look at it, that could be a sign that you will feel better after replacing it with something different.

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