Objects & Attachment: Getting Your Needs Met
Most of us understand that we look to others in order to get our needs met, and we can also understand that this is not healthy. What we may not realize is that we look to our things to meet our needs as well. On a surface level, our objects really can do this. A tea kettle gives us hot water, a vase holds flowers, shoes protect the soles of our feet, an art book gives us inspiration. Yet, we are the only ones who can truly meet our needs from within. Learning this is is a process, which includes stripping our conditioning and false ideas of self; however, we can start this process by leaning into each moment. What do I need right now? Grounding? Self care? Inspiration? To just be okay alone? All of these answers can be met by simply taking a walk in nature and/or meditating. So rather than looking to our things to fulfill our deeper needs (when misused this often looks like projecting a false sense of identity, power, or status onto objects), we can look to them to help us do the work. We can transform “I want that because it’s pretty,” to “how can this serve me?” Perhaps a vase will help you to create a ritual of foraging greenery once a week. A tea kettle that you love will inspire you to make more tonics or simply to sit down once a day with a cup of tea on your porch. An art book will inspire you to flip through its pages instead of Instagram photos. A small ceramic plate will hold space for your palo santo, which will remind you to light the incense and take 15 minutes to meditate.
Our objects are an extension of us not because they communicate who we are, but rather because they are the vessels in which we transmit connection. As I’ve mentioned before, our objects are mirrors, reflections back at us. Unlike humans, objects don’t have agendas or egos. They don’t even have life or breath without us, so we can really see ourselves clearly in our relationships with them because they are incapable of projecting anything onto us - the reflections back are solely from our own projections. These projections reveal what we need to shift within ourselves. Our objects are simply there to serve us. They can be used as gateways to discovery and learning - not only by aiding us in our rituals, but also by looking at the ways in which we project onto them from our ego space. What if you only acquired objects to aid in your growth? What if you transformed your relationship with the objects you already have in order to serve a greater purpose? Start with one object. Ask it how it serves you. If the answer that comes through is that it serves something coming from the ego, then ask how it can serve you from your heart space? How can it aid you in order to meet a need from within?