Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?"

I love--LOVE--this Thoreau-ism. 

One of the things that upsets me most about how things are right now for us--the overwhelming amount of clutter in our home, the lack of peace I feel because of the chaos around us--is that it isn't what I wanted. It has never been what I wanted. I have always wanted a clean home, a simple home, a sanctuary from the outside world. Instead, my home is a reminder of the fast-paced world drenched in consumerism. It is filled with stuff, most of which I don't even care about, much less need. I feel like the busy Concordians Thoreau observed--I have been possessed my some demon, and it has caused me to behave well according to the ways of the world.

It's interesting to me, really, that someone like me, who by many standards lives a pretty virtuous life, has bought in, so whole-heartedly, to a system of ideals that is very far from the religion which I love. Search the doctrine of Mormonism, or Christianity at large, and there is nothing instructing us to seek to obtain more or fill the emptiness we feel with items. Quite the contrary, we should be laying up treasures in heaven and seeking to place Christ at the center of our homes and hearts. Shamefully, there have been times when I have received bad news, or had a rough day, I have turned to "retail therapy" or internet window shopping, rather than turning to the Lord to seek counsel and peace. I have been following the advice of the world; I obeyed when the world told me I needed more, or needed something new, or needed something better than what someone else had.

I'm discouraged today. We went through our home this past weekend and really pulled out so. much. STUFF. We had another massive garage sale. We sorted things into piles of keep, sell, donate, trash. We hauled a truckload to a drop-off donation. And there is still so much left. There are mountains of STUFF in my home. I don't know how I got here...

I am ashamed that I wasted time in a job I didn't love, money on things I didn't need, and energy on thoughts that failed to give me comfort, all because I was possessed by this demon called "consumerism."


  1. I love what you are doing. Your thoughts have made pay more attention and realize how much I hate the commercials, bill boards and signs that bombard me all day long telling me that I want or need something.

  2. So I would love to hear how much decluttering you are doing with toys :).

    And, what do you do when family gifts things to you that you don't need or even really want and you've already told them you don't need anymore stuff? (but they're addicted to qvc, lol)

  3. You know, lishoprah, we haven't totally battled out the toy area yet...(and believe me, it will be a battle...my husband has boxes of He-Man toys and others from his childhood that he insists we keep for our kids)
    Thus far, we have really only taken a couple of toys to my parents, and surprisingly, it is more than enough. We brought a few of my daughter's favorite stuffed animals, a baby, and her Little People set. For the baby, we didn't really bring anything but a walking toy, since cruising occupies far more of his attention than any toys at this point. :)
    I have been working on a toy post...I will try to push it to the front for you. :)
    As for the Christmas issue...let me think on it!

  4. Thanks! We have two 8 year olds, one of which is a massive pack rat, a 20 month old, and 4 month old. The babies are so much easier :).


  5. @Laura - the adverts dont *actually* say that you "want or need something", you say that to yourself, they create this inner monologue in you. Remember that.


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