Friday, 10 October 2014

how i am weaning myself from mindless comfort shopping

confession: i have a problem

one: i hate admitting that over the last five years, my shopping has been mostly mindless and was done to comfort me from whatever discomfort i was trying to counteract. i had a shitty coping mechanism.

two: despite my reluctance to admit the above, admitting it is actually ... liberating.

three: i am a work-in-progress; i note that this does get easier with time, although i am not too sure why. i like to think that i understand myself better, therefore can cope better. or that it is simply getting rid of a bad habit and acquiring a new, better habit. or that it is simply an increased awareness exercise. or all of the above. i don't know.

but it does work.

[side note: my life is far from being classified as "edited" or "curated" or whatever adjective along those lines. the end goal is no where near.]

understanding the why

a lot of resources out there are devoted to getting you started on this stop shopping journey. starting is important, because for a lot of people, it is the one thing that kick-starts the journey. once you start, chance of you staying in the course is pretty big, or at least, better than if you didn't start at all. the key to sustaining this is to understand the why - why are you doing this? why is this so important to you? why are you willing to suffer for this?

the answers to these questions are different to each individual, so there is no right or wrong. personally, i want to be a more responsible person: intellectually, mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, environmentally, socially (not in any order of importance). i also want more space in my life. i am a firm believer in space because having space allows you to grow, and growing is an important condition of living. put differently, part of living well is growing. i want to live well, so i grow and i am willing to suffer to grow.

the lifestyle you 'should' have (vs what you want to have)

part of the deal about living in a society is dealing with their expectations - these are what i call the 'should's of live. you should do this, you should do that. you should have this, you should have that. for a while, i avoided using the word 'should' in my sentences. it didn't last very long - i was too lazy to construct better sentences that i knew could convey my meanings better. sorry, i realise that this is a terrible excuse, but it was also the truth.

the key to reconciling how we want to live and how society thinks we should lies in this thing called validation, whether yours is externally derived or internally derived. i suspect for most people it's a combination of both, and for those who are comfortable with themselves, most of this validation is internally derived.

so it boils down to you designing the life that works for you. if you are someone who needs a lot of external validation, then make sure you surround yourself with supportive people. if you are someone who doesn't, then you perhaps don't need to do this, but can devote your attention somewhere else, like maybe, supporting those who need your validation.

is it hard?

yes it is. i got to a point whereby i want it quite badly, so i stick with it. of course i think it is worth it. my latest accomplishment is not purchasing anything during September, and i did this without a shopping ban in place! woot!

next i'll discuss why i think shopping bans don't work for me. until then. x

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