I wanted to do a quick episode this week about letting go. People have a tendency to hang on to things they never use, or things that do more harm than good (like people), and I think it’s important to purge ourselves often of the junk we collect over time. So basically this episode is going to focus on things and not people. So yeah.
Before I get into it, though, I really need to do a shout-out to the Patreon supporters. Lisa, Liz, Barb, and Dani are all wonderful and amazing for jumping in and helping me get the Patreon thing started. You guys are awesome. I encourage the rest of you to check out my Patreon page (patreon.com/totaldanarchy), I’ve got the link in the show notes. I’ve also recently added two new rewards tiers I think you should know about. For $5 you’ll get a personalized 2-card tarot reading from me every month (I run a page called Inappropriate Tarot Readings) on FB), and for $10 you’ll get a 4-card reading every month. Plus shout-outs. So get on that.
Alrighty. The episode. What I think we should talk about this week is that most of us just have way too much shit. We purchase and collect, but we have a hard time getting rid of things. Even when it piles up and gets ridiculous. We still avoid it. I mean think about it, we buy tons of stuff – we’re trained to, as consumers – but we really don’t get rid of stuff, so it just accumulates. That’s not to say we don’t throw things away – we throw a lot of shit away as a society, our wastefulness could be a whole other topic. What I’m talking about is just random stuff, clothing, trinkets, electronics, toys, neat stuff.
We gather it all up and then it just sits there. In our houses, on a shelf, in a closet, or in a box somewhere. And even when we are forced to dig through all that junk for an item we actually need, it doesn’t occur to us to get rid of all that garbage we’re not using. It’s just taking up space.
So why aren’t we getting rid of it?
Could be we’re too lazy to go through it. If that’s the case, consider that the more the stuff builds up, the more stress it’s going to end up causing. More shit to wade through, more shit to box up if you ever have to move. Etc. etc. It could also be that we don’t want to get rid of stuff because we like having these things. It’s our stuff. It’s cool. We bought it for a reason. Something about it. So we hang onto it. Other times we think we still might actually use something. We don’t think that, hey, we haven’t actually used that thing in the last 10 years. What are the odds we’ll use it in the future? Nil. We’re not gonna fucking use the shit. We’re just fooling ourselves to justify keeping it around. Sometimes things are difficult to get rid of. Some folks can’t get rid of anything. They’re attached to it. It makes them really uncomfortable trying to get rid of stuff. Sometimes having the stuff is comforting. Like a security blanket. In extreme cases, like with hoarding, it can have an ostensible impact on other things in life (kids are embarrassed to bring people over, arguments with others, physical inhibition of space, etc.) If it gets to be debilitating, I encourage you to seek professional help for it. This episode is intended for people who aren’t debilitated.
And while I don’t presume to tell you how to live your life (see episode one, You Own Your Life), I’m going to tell you some reasons why I think you should get rid of some of your shit. First of all, getting rid of shit is actually a good thing. And it gets easier the more you do it. It teaches us not to seek happiness or comfort from things. It teaches us to be more organized, more pragmatic about what we’re actually going to use and what we bought but can’t bring ourselves to admit that we don’t really need. So it helps us be more honest with ourselves. But I think the most important thing of all is it helps prepare us for getting rid of people.
And I’m sure there’s some dumbasses out there who hear that and can’t think beyond twisting that statement into me equating people with things. That’s not what I’m doing. I’m not saying people are objects here, I’m saying that it stands to reason that if you can’t cut out the unnecessary things in your life, you’re sure as hell not going to be able to do it with people. Because people are more important than things. Got it? Good.
We need to develop the courage to get rid of people who don’t serve us well. Emotional vampires, controllers, narcissists, people who take advantage of us. Negative people. If you’re not accustomed to cutting negative people from your life, a great way to build up to that is to start with stuff.
Think about this, too.
All the stuff you have that you don’t want or you’re not using is all stuff that somewhere, someone else would DIE to have. Think about something you could REALLY USE right now, something that would make your life easier. Now realize that somewhere out there is someone who has that thing, just sitting in their house, in a box, in a shed, not being used. At all. They don’t even think about that item. They’re just hoarding it, for whatever reason. Some people think that owning STUFF is what makes you valuable. They think other people are impressed by their ability to acquire STUFF. “Ooh, look at me. I’ve got six iPods that I don’t even USE. Aren’t I amazing?” No. You’re not fucking amazing. You’re stupid.
The kind of people who are impressed by you owning stupid shit you’re never going to use aren’t high caliber, so keep that in mind. Why don’t you instead spend your time becoming a wonderful person others actually want to be around? Offer something of value to the world and the lives of others besides flattery. Kissing people’s asses and playing to their egos and trying to impress them with anything other than being an awesome person is a mask. We do this because we don’t think people will like us otherwise, and maybe they’re right. But even if they won’t like us otherwise, it’s not the best approach. Instead of compensating, work on yourself. Improve. Become a better person. Be genuine. Those who matter will like you. Those who don’t matter won’t. (Paraphrasing Dr. Seuss there).
Now, don’t get me wrong here. Not all people who have stuff they’re not using are assholes like that. I hope you’re not one of them. I think it’s safe to say we all have stuff we aren’t using and we aren’t going to use. So how about it? You know there’s someone out there who wants that thing more than anything else. But maybe they don’t have the means to get it. Do you see where I’m going with this?
A LOT of people get the idea to go through their stuff and get rid of a bunch of things. But they throw it all away. If it’s not broken and you’re going to throw it away anyway, why not GIVE IT AWAY? Donate it. Put it on Craigslist for free. It’ll be gone in an hour. Don’t throw it away. Then nobody can use it. The fuck is wrong with you?
That reminds me of this time in junior high. I was going to take my tray to the garbage and I saw this girl getting ready to throw away a totally brand new brownie. She didn’t have any of it. It was completely pristine. So I said, “Hey, if you’re not gonna eat that, can I have it?”
I swear to god that cunt looked at me, said no, and threw the fucking brownie away. Right then and there. What. The. Fuck. Can you imagine that? That is a true story. And it still pisses me off to this day. So don’t be like that little bitch from junior high. There’s no goddamn reason to be like that. That is needlessly cruel. Donate your stuff, yo. She’s probably a really nice person now. I don’t know. Maybe she works in a job she hates with people who tell shitty jokes all the time and listen to Five Finger Death Punch.
If you have a lot of it things to get rid of you can actually call the the thrift store and they’ll come out and get it. Put it on CL for free and the people will come and get it. If you don’t want to just give it away, you can still sell it. Easy. There’s a million places that enable you to do that. There’s even a group in my area on Facebook that does that. You put your thing on there for sale and people who want it comment on it. You arrange the transaction then. Done and done.
Simplify your life, man. That’s one of the keys to life, according to me. I haven’t written that book yet, but I will. It’s rule number 6 out of 8. You’ll see. Simplify. Get rid of anything that’s unnecessary. That includes stress, people who make your life worse, bad habits, and STUFF. Try it. Just go through your junk and purge. Donate all the clothes you never wear. Clear it out. Start there. Move on to other types of things. Get rid of all that mail you have piled up but you never actually read. Clean it all out. Go through your fridge. The garage, the basement, the attic. Boxes. Everything. And do this regularly. At least once a year, I think. I’m always taking clothes to the thrift store. Other people can use those things. They need them more than I do. And not only do I feel better that someone who needs it will at least put it to good use, it also helps that I don’t have a lot of garbage laying around that gets in the way. You can trip and fall and injure yourself on stupid shit. You don’t want that, no sir.
So what kind of stuff do you have just lying around? Why are you keeping it? Does owning stuff you never use make you feel better about yourself? If so, you should really contemplate why that is. Is there a way to transfer that to something else, something more internal? Do you feel people will only like you if you can impress them with nice things? Why do you think you might feel that way? Are you afraid to get rid of stuff? Why do you think that is? Just contemplate these things. Give it some thought. And for fuck’s sake, don’t be like that girl with the brownie.
Remember that somewhere there is someone who NEEDS that thing you aren’t even using. Think about something you really need right now. Now just think that someone out there has that thing and they never use it, but they won’t give it up because, well, fuck you. That’s why. Doesn’t that suck? Don’t be that asshole.
That’s all I’ve got for your faces today. And since I don’t like advertising, I’m self-sponsoring these shows. I’m not going to tell you to use these new razors or some website generator or whatever. But I do want to keep these episodes up, so if you want to help do that, you can do it by throwing me a $1 on Patreon, subscribing to or leaving this podcast a review on iTunes, and/or getting my newsletter. Next week’s episode will be entirely devoted to answering people’s questions, so if you have a question, hit me up in the forums, in the comments on this post, or on Facebook. Until next time, stay sensational.
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