Sentimentality

Miserum

Well-known member
#1
I was going through some boxes of old clothes and remembering the memories associated with that clothing. Some were old favorites, others were nothing special. Some evoked feelings of childhood nostalgia and good times, while others brought about rumination and regret.

I had to throw out some of that clothing. Yet when it came to dumping some items for good, I hesitated. I felt a pang of guilt in my decision to trash these items that have been through so much with me. I ended up designating a box for items that held "sentimental value," when objectively, these things were ultimately worthless. They will sit in this box never to be worn again, for years, until one day I open up that box again to experience a single, brief moment of nostalgia, before closing it for another indeterminate but prolonged number of years. Probably... definitely, a waste of space. Just packing them into a box took up time I will never get back.

So this all got me thinking; I don't just do this with my clothes. I do this with other items as well, in particular emotional baggage, except I examine the emotional baggage much more frequently. I am completely focused on the past, almost always. And it's not like I didn't know this already, but seeing my clothes as an analogy to my emotional baggage made that baggage more tangible. It would make more sense for me to just throw this stuff out. What other purpose do they serve but to make me feel a certain way, and mostly bad at that?

Whether it's clothes, other miscellaneous items, or memories of people, I tend to get sentimental about them all. Is this a philosophical mind state that can be changed? How do I dump it all? Do I just stay busy so I don't have to think about it? How do I take the lessons learned from this baggage and simply do away with the baggage itself--and are those "lessons" even worth keeping?

I hear that this is how people avoid depression--through distraction. But that somehow makes me feel like I will be betraying myself... by avoiding thinking about my past, I will be avoiding the most logical conclusions concerning myself and my place in the world. I will be avoiding the reality of things. Unless of course my reality is so completely biased by my own subjective experience, and thus clouded, that it's actually not logical at all.
 
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LoyalXenite

Well-known member
#2
I dont have any advice with the emotional baggage.. I'm still trying to figure that one out too. But with the clothes or other physical items, have you tried donating instead of throwing them away, or giving them to people you know? or do you have someone you can ask to help you, then when you're having second thoughts they can step in and do the trowing away for you?
 

lily

Well-known member
#3
i have things that i didn't throw away too that's still in the garage like my junior high French notes and all the subjects i've taken like i think physed notes too and i just think it's too precious to throw away so i think i'll keep them. but as for things that make you feel bad i think you should just throw them away or give it away like LoyalXenite said. if you throw them away it'll compeletely blot out that they were ever there.
 

Sacrament

Well-known member
#4
I have sentimental items that I don't want to throw away because of their meaning. I have a special t-shirt about one of my favorite poets that my dad gave me during a difficult time, and when the fabric started to rip, I stored it instead of throwing it away.

I think attachment to things from the past can be a blessing but also a curse, depending on the thoughts and emotions that come with them. Keep them if they represent something positive, but get rid of them if they remind you of thoughts and emotions that you don't want in your life.
 

MollyBeGood

Well-known member
#5
I have trouble with attaching meaning to things, I hate being so sentimental. But in the last few yrs I have been forced by life to get rid of 90% of all my worldly belongings. It was so bad for me that I had to keep telling myself it would be a similar loss to someone who had experienced a house fire and looses everything that way. I will occasionally still remember something like a drawing my dad did for me that I no longer have and I have to fight not getting really depressed. I also sold a few hundred books that was really really really hard too. I think we have to not get too attached to things though because that is where you can get stuck. Buddhism teaches the principal of ‘Non Attatchment’ that really reasonates with me because it is so real an issue I struggle with. I have improved a lot though, I will say it takes time.
 

LoyalXenite

Well-known member
#6
in the last few yrs I have been forced by life to get rid of 90% of all my worldly belongings. It was so bad for me that I had to keep telling myself it would be a similar loss to someone who had experienced a house fire and looses everything that way. I will occasionally still remember something like a drawing my dad did for me that I no longer have and I have to fight not getting really depressed.
I feel you here, over the past few years I've had a similar issue in which I've had to get rid of things, or things were forcibly taken/stolen/damaged.. Many of which were things I miss greatly. Its weird how the loss of items can still ache years later
 
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