My friend Louis shared a profound experience from his childhood. His mother bought him the most beautiful Adidas tennis shoes. They had the Adidas logo on each little nobble on the soles and the blue stripes against the white shoe was exquisite.
For him these shoes were so beautiful, he only walked on grass with them to save the nobbles. Once he got out of the car and stepped into a puddle of mud. He immediately took them of and cleaned those blue stripes till they shone again. Because he wanted to preserve the beauty of these shoes he seldom wore them. Then one day – they were to small.
I find this story full of the liberating truth of abundance.
When we are still enslaved in a mental map of scarcity, we tend to buy things that we like but, like Louis, we hoard them. Be honest – how many things are stuffed in boxes and closets that we never use? We have these beautiful set of plates, but only use them on high days to impress people. Or that expensive coat hanging in the back of the closet that we do not wear because there is no appropriate function on the calendar.
We should use them. That is what they are made for. We have to give our possessions the opportunity to be of value to us. If it breaks or is worn through, then they have served their purpose in life and we were blessed by that purpose.
Yet, we should also not waste our possessions. Waste shows a mental map of selfish consumption and disrespect. Showing respect towards your possessions exhibits an attitude of gratitude. By taking care of them, putting them away when they are not in use, we acknowledge the service they render to us. When we take care of our stuff, they take care of us.
You might think this is a bit to preachy. Well, consider this: The way you treat your possessions, reflects the way you treat yourself.
Because you believe in your own value, you take care of yourself and your stuff. Unfortunately, because of the undervaluation of yourself, you under evaluate the contribution you can make and therefore also the contribution of the tools with which to add value, your possessions.
So, please take note of the lesson of the Adidas shoes. Use them, before you outgrow them.