My Relationship With My Wardrobe

Monday, October 13, 2014

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
The second chapter of A New Earth is giving me a ton to think about so I'm  addressing those topics in a few different posts.

Tolle spends some time addressing consumerism and the worth people assign to things and themselves in return. In order to get you to buy things you don't really need marketers need to to convince you that you do in fact need their products and services because it will better your life in some capacity. They often hire celebrities to endorse their products in the hopes that you will find yourself wanting to look more like or be more like said-celebrity. If so-and-so uses this brand of moisturizer and she is just glowing in the commercial then, with enough repeats of that commercial, you may find yourself thinking that if you had that moisturizer then you too will have that glowy complexion, so you may end up buying it.

So many of us have bought into this idea that these things will help us become the person that we want to be. The problem is that we become obsessed and sick.The cycle never really ends. You are left always wanting more and more because you are always dissatisfied. Tolle asks some pretty poignant questions that he suggests you ask yourself as you examine your own relationship with things.
"Do certain things induce a subtle feeling of importance or superiority? Does the lack of them make you feel inferior to others who have more than you? Do you casually mention things you own or show them off to increase your sense of worth in someone else's eyes and through them in your own? Do you feel resentful or angry and somehow diminished in your sense of self when someone else has more than you or when you lose a prized possession?"
I've often thought that life would be so much simpler if I had been born a boy. As a girl there is this expectation that you should do your best to look pretty. My husband has a daily uniform that consists of a different colored polo and a pair of jeans. As a girl it's hard enough to find pants and a top that fit correctly and wearing something similar day after day? What a slob. Then there is the matter of makeup. If you aren't all dolled up you are asked if you're tired or sick. There is a lot of pressure to be a girl in our society. I think my most unhealthy relationship with things is with my wardrobe.

Tolle shares a story about a woman dying of cancer. She loses a ring that had been passed down to her from her grandmother. She used to wear it every single day until her hands were too swollen. It had some major sentimental value to her and was a part of her. Tolle asked her the following:

"Do you realize that you will have to let go of the ring at some point, perhaps quite soon? How much more time do you need before you will be ready to let go of it? Will you become less when you let go of it? Has who you are become diminished by the loss?"

 The world may decide to label me and make assumptions about me based on my wardrobe, but why do I really care? Does what everyone else decide change who I really am inside? I've lost sight of the true purpose of clothing and gotten caught up in the never-ending cycle of consumerism.  True confidence isn't going to be found at the mall but within yourself.

I still really love clothes but I like to think that this acknowledgement will help me to better determine my needs and wants in this area.

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