We are all consumed by countless ‘things’. Consumers, consumed.
Gossipy, tabloid magazines tell us who’s doing what, who’s bought what, who’s broken up with whom, who’s got cellulite, who’s perspired into their designer dress (yes, really). In the mean time while we’ve been so focused on complete strangers that we only ‘know’ on a 2D basis, our relationships are falling apart and our bank accounts and hearts are getting emptier.
We seek validation through watching famous people looking human, and take great pleasure in their downfalls, because now they’re like one of us…even though they have always been one of us. We put them on a pedestal in the first place and the media run with it, rubbing their hands with glee.
Adverts tell us what we should or shouldn’t use, what’s the latest ‘must-have’ gadget, how we can look more like the models, how we can make our teeth less natural and more freakishly white, which junk food to pile into our already stressed, compressed, contracted and failing bodies.
Hey I’d like whiter teeth… but would I really? Because I certainly don’t need it for anything.
Is it because everyone is doing it and therefore I’ll be more socially accepted, or maybe I will be perceived as society’s collective vision of what’s beautiful and healthy? I’m guessing all of the above. Need and want merge confusingly into each other as we manipulate ourselves further.
Do I need 20 handbags? Surely one small one for a casual day and one big one for work will suffice? When one breaks or begins to fray, then I can look for another one…but why must each outfit have its own bag?
When you strip it all away, and cut out the ‘cancer’ that is consumerism, you’re left with a big gaping hole that is terrifying to stare in the face.
We’re so far gone, we can not see that the gaping hole is all there is. It’s not really a hole but more of a whole. It’s possibly space, and peace.
Space to just BE whatever it is that we are, without having to itch an itch, or drum our fingers to move the stillness and disturb the silence, in case we disappear into it and never return. We fear what we imagine to be the loss of ourselves; our survival instinct is so strong.
How do we get back to basics and realise on more than just an intellectual level, that we already are everything we need?
How about beginning with the realisation and the acceptance of all that we have become? Then breaking it down and simplifying everything. In each moment asking, do I need this or do I just want to fit in and fill a gap?
We don’t have to be superhuman, so why are we trying to be what we’re not? The irony of it is, the more we fear the loss of ourselves through facing the ’emptiness’, the more we pile ourselves up with toxic consumerism and lose ourselves anyway! We just want to feel like we have control over the decisions and outcomes.
This is where mindfulness comes in. Begin to question what and whom you surround yourself with, and whether it is true to you, or just a compulsion. You may feel you are OK with your compulsions and if so, great, come back another time. But if like me, and many others, you are beginning to see and feel that the true emptiness is consumerism, and are searching for deeper connections, just gently begin to look around more. Breathe a little deeper. Consider your motives a little more…slow it all right down.
Take that first step into opening your inner eyes, and the rest will naturally follow.