avoid the trap of collecting

Collecting things, whether they be small or big, for ourselves or showcase our love towards something to others, comes with its own drawbacks. Having a collection means intentional hoarding. Intentional is good, hoarding is not. 

We humans enjoy collecting things. And there are countless clubs, Facebook groups, online forums and TV shows and websites that are dedicated to collecting things, whether they be vinyl records, baseball cards, sneakers, coffee mugs, the list goes on. 

I have had a few collections over the years, the prominent being collecting different keychains, but for some reason, I just never felt aligned with having them. For instance, I would love my keychains, but i would only actually look at them once in six months or a year while going through my other stuff. They were sitting and I didn’t even use them. I let go of them reluctantly while making a big move, but at some level I also experienced a form of liberation, for myself and for them!

One thing that we can all realize for ourselves is that we are not our collections. We enjoy collecting things because they’re a part of our identity. The main issue on hand is that we start giving those things incredible meaning, and when unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you see it), there comes an occasion when we have to get rid of them, we understand that those collections have no role in defining us. We are defined by our virtues, our character, our values and our inherent goodness, not by a bunch of things neatly organized to make ourselves “happy” and to impress others. 

We have to stop using collections to fill the void within us. It never works that way. What I’ve realized, and what you may too at some point, is that our collections anchor us and keep us stuck, even if we lose the enthusiasm that we had for collecting certain things when we started. 

Instead of becoming a swamp where we keep adding stuff to our collections, we can become free flowing like a river. We can let go of the anchors of our collections, and not let them define us. 

Not only do we feel lighter, but we also realize that we don’t need our collections to feel empowered and attractive. We find out that we are enough as we are, and already perfect and worthy without external things. 

In the end, it’s all about becoming beautiful human beings, not having incredible collections.