I have some. But the crying baby makes it impossible to write them down. Watch this space! So, cleaning things out makes me feel ashamed. Not of my clutter and disorganization, that’s just who I am, but of my overconsumption of STUFF. And then, I buy more STUFF, maybe because I feel bad. And then, Tabitha pointed out, maybe because I want to feel bad, because then I’ll be ashamed again and so I get to punish myself.
Which brings me to my Lenten point: shame is not a particularly good penitential emotion for me. It’s so self-directed, selfish really, where I’m concerned. It quickly moves into a more comfortable self-deprecating mess of pity, and self-loathing. Not good! What is good? Repentance, which is other-directed. So there you go.
Look at all my plenty, that I don’t even want! Why did I get it to begin with? Why did I purchase it? To assuage some inner emptiness? Because I was bored? (likely.) Because I thought, right then, that I needed it? Things for the kids, I get because I love them and think the thing will make them happy. But mostly things just make them unhappy. They fight over things, want more things right after getting them. They agonize over getting rid of things even more than I do. And yet the things they have slowly grind into shreds of paper and tufts of polyester fur, little shards of plastic. Nobody wants the things they have – they want to want, and not to have. Sometimes they want to have, but really they want to make another child want! And they always, always want to GET.
Am I different? Not so much.