Thursday, June 18, 2009 | By: Tonya Keitt Kalule

American Bondage

It has been known for sometime that Americans love to own stuff, and the more stuff there is the more stuff we want to own. The weirdest thing about this is that once we acquire the stuff, the thrill is over. This type of bondage has dominated most of my life. It was actually when I went back to school and moved in with my parents that I realized that I could live with a great deal less than I thought possible. I chose to move in with my parents because I didn't want to work full time and attend school part time, knowing how long this process could be. I wanted to make this happen as quickly as possible. So going to school full time was the only thing I could do and that included summers. I also wanted to make the process as painless as possible, not my pain but my daughter's pain. Finding a way that would not disrupt her life anymore than necessary. I knew that if I went back to school full time and worked full time, then parenting would take a backseat. This was not an option for me, not even for a short time. The time that it was going to take for me to earn my degree was going to take a few years. I was not willing to sacrifice her, but I was willing to sacrifice stuff.
When I made this decision, I was up against a great deal of resistance, but I was determined. I had to put all of my stuff in storage. The antique furniture that I had been collecting, the beautiful china, and antique dishes, all of the dolls my daughter had been collecting with her grandmother, and the three closets of designer clothes and shoes that defined me. That was heartbreaking.
After enrolling in school and getting involved in all that was put before me, with the determination an tunnel vision that I equipped myself with, that heartbreak became less and less. I was excelling quite rapidly in school, I was a full time student, a full time mother of a 12 year old girl, and now a member of the honor society that just happened to be featured in the school's campaign for non-traditional students. My face was now plastered all over the newspapers in this campaign, in brochures, and college fairs. All of this happened without the the stuff that use to be so very important to me. So life was lighter and freer, and I was able to soar.
This type of thing also happens when we clean out our houses, our minds, our debts, and our hearts. Sometimes getting rid of the house that sucks our resources, the constant wants that sucks our energy and eventually our money, and then our energy again. It becomes a cycle that we become painfully comfortable with. A cycle that becomes easier to live within than it is to move away from.
Many Americans are being stripped of these tangible possessions in today's economy, and they are discovering that there is a great deal that they are able to live without. Americans are becoming grateful for their loved ones and good health, and with that they are able to attain all that they need and want. The difference now is that their wants are have evolved. Instead of things, they are wanting peace of mind and simple happiness with those that are the most important to them. Through this many will not go back to the way they use to live, because what they value in life is different. They will not go back to the credit card debt, to robbing Peter to pay Paul, the buying more house than they need or can afford, or the keeping up with the Jones. By being stripped by all of these possessions they will discover themselves, who they are , what they want from this life, and what they value the most, and these possessions will no longer be necessary to show the world who they are. However, there are a number of people that is going to jump right back into that frying pan, and there is a part of me that understands why. For some, the pain of change is unbearable and bondage is all that they know.

1 comments:

Judy660 said...

I can see and feel myself throughout this post--my acquisition of stuff over the years and my desire now to let it all go. Having grown up without much stuff, acquiring stuff in adulthood equalled success. Now, after many years of collecting and overflowing closets, storage areas, shelves and racks, I'm running out of room...and away from the desire for more. Freedom from stuff is what I want now.

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