Alternative MethodsConventional Methods


March 29

Our Need for Possessions is Toxic. Lessons Learnt from Going 200 Days Without A Purchase

Lela Valdez
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 3 min.

A few months ago, I went through the worst experience of my life: my father passed away.It was a cancer which took him, and a small part of myself as well. As I reflect on the time preceding his death, there were so many hard parts. One of the hardest was not being able to mourn in peace.

Nope, in our society you can’t just mourn a person’s loss—you need to work. Not just at your job, but on piles of paperwork, people to notify and arrangements to be made. Finally, when I thought all of the hard work was over, I had to empty out my father’s apartment. Little did I know that this would be the bitterest labor yet.

Going through my father’s old things, I felt the loss of my father with each and every item I sorted. And there was a lot of sorting to do. It took weeks to clear out the lifetime of possessions in my single father’s small apartment. Weeks to sell, donate, recycle or throw out the boxes and boxes of kitchenware, clothing, furniture, office materials, and so much more.

I threw away a normal life of accumulation.

We were destroying the planet for future generations, all so that we could enjoy a lifetime full of material possessions that were hardly used.

Time, money, and effort had been heavily invested in getting all of this stuff—only to be disposed of with great difficulty. We were destroying the planet for future generations, all so that we could enjoy a short lifetime full of material possessions that in many cases were hardly used, rarely necessary and easily forgotten.

I decided that I didn’t want this to be my “normal.” And so I embarked on an experiment lasting 200 days where I would buy nothing new. Excluding groceries, medicine and basic toiletries, I would borrow and buy secondhand, or simply go without.

Like many of us making a steady income, I’d never been very disciplined when it came to my purchases. If I could afford it—and even when I couldn’t—I often just thought “why not?” Could I survive 200 days away from the mall?

In fact, I could. And here is some of what I learned along the way:

  1. There is already too much stuff in the world. As I toured various thrift stores, online classifieds sections, Facebook buy/sell groups and the like, I was shocked to see the sheer volume of stuff we humans have already created. Mountains of clothes, tons of furniture, dishes, pans, walking sticks—an ocean of all things imaginable. As all of this stuff is being thrown away, more is being churned out. We don’t need more.

  2. People buy things out of pure compulsion. As I looked to fill my needs through pre-owned sources, I was blown away by the amount of new items in thrift stores—items that were unused, complete with price tags and original packaging. Everything from new scented candles to new clothing graced the aisles of secondhand stores. Clearly, the act of buying is often completely disassociated with actual human need, or even want. It’s much more akin to a compulsion.

  3. There is an unreasonable stigma against pre-owned items. As I blogged about my experience, I received a lot of interesting feedback on the hygienic aspect of my efforts. Many felt that buying clothing, furniture and other goods used instead of new was dirty and uncivilized. What a weird mentality! These same people would happily donate their used goods to thrift stores. I guess it’s good enough for the lower income among us—but not for “us.”

  4. There is so much abundance. During my 200 days, I learned I didn’t need to go to big box stores to buy what I needed—there were plenty of resources in my own community. Our communities have an abundance of stuff and plenty of people willing to give it away at a very low price or for free.

  5. When nothing is new, nothing is expensive. My bank account definitely got a break during these 200 days. Secondhand comes at a delightfully steep discount. And I never felt that I compromised on quality, either.

  6. It’s awesome paying a person instead of a corporation. Especially when shopping through classifieds, I found that most sellers were honest and helpful. They were normal people just wanting to recoup a portion of their purchase price by selling perfectly usable items. It was refreshing to know that my money would be going directly to someone just like me, instead of a faceless corporation.

  7. I don’t really need that stuff. Truth is, some things you simply cannot find preowned. Lots of items, even common ones, are either impossible or impractical to find pre-owned. When I was forced to not buy them—against my strongest impulses at times—I was surprised how nothing changed. Not my health, happiness or inner harmony. I realized that most things are really just “nice-to-haves;” real needs are generally more limited.

My 200 days was not only an optional experience in sustainable living and minimalism. It was a necessary and transformative journey. When someone dies, you’re expected to just “get past it” and go back to normal. I did not want to feel like losing my father was an event I simply moved on from, an experience that ultimately left me unchanged.

Instead, I allowed the experience to change me deeply. In fact I don’t think I’ll ever “get past it,” because every day my father’s passing inspires the way I speak, the way I action and the way I perceive my life.

I hope that you might allow this post to change you a bit as well. Maybe you’ll pay a visit to a thrift store for your next clothing purchase, or embark on your own 10, 30, or even 200 day challenge. At the very least, I hope you’ll just change the way you think when you buy another item.

via Quartz

Comments

Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
or
Services
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter
Sort
 

All categories

Spiritual Healing
$222 USD
Healing from Trauma at a Quantum Soul Level

Are you burnt out from clinical therapy practices that require years of treatment with few results? Are you ready to release and transmute your trauma once and…

LunaRio Silver Deer
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
I will do spiritual transformation for you

I will do spiritual transformation. Life occurs as a series of cycles in a single human lifetime. Cycles exist in almost a spiral pattern. There is a flow and …

Wisdom Realms
Career Coaching
$499 USD
Reset 1-0n1 Coaching and Mentoring Programme

Are you returning to work after a career break, or are you looking for a new job or career change?

This programme is for you.

I’ve developed the RESET coachi…

Carla Martins
Life Coaching
$399 USD
1-on-1 Coaching

The journey started with our discovery call, and You decided: ” I’m ready! Let’s do this!”.

We will engage in 1-on-1 coaching sessions for 90 minutes. In this…

Carla Martins
Emotional Stress Release
$800 USD
Retreat( India): Connect With Your Inner Wisdom 1st to 4th Sept

Join us for an immersive experience anchored amidst the beauty and tranquillity of Kasar Devi, Almora, India

1st Sept’22 ( Thursday) - 4th Sept 2022 ( Sunday …

Aikyam
Psychic Reading
$80 USD
I will do oracle and tarot card readings

I will do oracle & tarot card reading in any area of your life. You will get answer from the Angelic, Elemental, Faerie or Galactic realms. I will share wi…

Wisdom Realms
Natal Astrology
$15 USD
15 min reading of SOUL structure

[SOUL STRUCTURE]Each soul has own structure,and knowing it means to have unlimited access to inner energy. This readings are telling about your talents and str…

Ksenia Jdanova
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Ask a Question?

Supportive reflection of a current question that you would like clarity around. Using the SMART method to seek quidance in stepping onto your path of potential…

Beverly Lynn
Reiki
$150 USD
Reiki Services (distant healing session)

In this hour long distant healing session I will use long distance Reiki, crystals and essential oils to balance your Chakras. Balancing your Chakras allows en…

Erin Kirby
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Intuitive Tarot Reading

Affordable Tarot reading to offer guidance on any given concern.

Elphie Shoppe
Telepsychology
$10 USD
Talk Therapy Sessions

Hello there: These times are dread. Do you need to talk with a safe professional about a troubling personal challenge? I am a professional listener and will li…

Eulalee Thompson
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Tarot Reading

I offer tarot readings with a 100% accuracy rate. The tarot is meant to give you advice, to point you in the right direction or to provide you with clarity. Bu…

Zara Kalil
Angel Healing
$10 USD
Mental Health Advice & Tips

I can help you with past issues and give advice and tips on how to better your life. I can see through my third eye and receive messageson what you need to do …

Beings Of Light
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Discovery call

Are you interested in supporting your health with safe and effective holistic medicine? Not sure if you should switch diets, work with a health coach or explor…

Suzana Da Costa
Wellness Coaching
$50 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching Consultation

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Family Psychology
$10 USD
Psychic Reading

Expert in Love Relationship, Tarot Psychic Reading
I can give you more powerful insight of every part of your life. With the help of Crystal ball my Psychic re…

Aamir Bilal
Career Coaching
$195 USD
Holistic Lifestyle & Nutrition Coaching

ARE YOU TIRED? STRESSED OUT? STRUGGLING WITH YOUR WEIGHT? UNDER SLEPT?
LOST YOUR ZEST FOR LIFE?

If this sounds like you, then you don’t need a new diet… you n…

David Giddings
Bach flower therapy
$120 USD
Bach Flower Essence Consultation

Exploration of where you’re feeling stuck or limited in life and recommendations of Bach Flower Essences to help loosen and dissolve old patterns.

Suzana Da Costa
Cognitive-behavioral therapy
$100 USD
Subliminal therapy

In this service we will use Subliminal therapy and Sound healing as alternative to tradition cognitive behavioral therapy.

We are born with our thoughts. Do n…

Ahmed Amin Youssef
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
Intro 2 Alignment Healing Chant

Namaste.

That is my greeting to the spirit within you. Join me for a welcome introduction session to celebrate my arrival at Core Spirit!

For 15 minutes I wi…

Ti3rc3 Fire
Mediumism
$55 USD
Psychic Medium Readings

READINGS
Currently, all readings will be offered virtually.
Appointments are available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 9am-1pm (UK Time Zone).
When we…

Jan Morgan
Oracle Cards Reading
$25 USD
Psychic Reading 15 Minutes

Well-versed in the main 5 clairs, I will Intuitively answer your questions for 15 minutes.

Jyll Hoyrup
Emotional Stress Release
$150 USD
Creatrix® Breakthrough

This is a revolutionary process, SPECIALLY designed for women. You will be able to clear your most depeest BLOCKS and limiting beliefs. 

This is the only too…

Tamar Viva

Related Articles