No doubt I’ve mentioned before that one of my “love languages” is gifts. This is funny to me because I’m not a very good gift giver. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t like to just randomly give things; I want to give meaningful gifts. For example, we didn’t do much for Christmas this year, but I did give everyone in my immediate family (plus Anita and my neighbor Sara) t-shirts with the Hermits’ Rest logo and “Hermits’ Rest Ranch and Family Compound, Walker’s Creek Texas, Est. 2012” on the back. Most had their name on the front, too. I did this to support a local woman who started a t-shirt business and to celebrate ten years of the ranch. That had meaning to me. Of course, no one has worn theirs, but that’s fine. It’s the thought that counts.
And that’s the deal right there. Because gifts from the heart mean so much to me, I treasure them, often for years and years. I have carted some items that probably appear meaningless with me everywhere I’ve moved, because my heart softens a little bit when I see them.
And when I look around my house, I’m reminded of people I’ve loved throughout my life, as if they are with me and supporting me wherever I go and whatever is happening to me.
Sure, the minimalists think that things are just things, and they may well be correct, literally. But I’m more like a Japanese Shinto practitioner in that for me, objects have spirits, vibrations, or special meaning that is more than just their utilitarian form or function. As I often point out when someone says I’m rather “woo-woo,” there are many things in the Universe that we humans do not yet understand or may not even be capable of understanding, so who’s to say there aren’t special vibrations or connections between objects and people who have made them or touched them?
I know I put a lot of love into things I make for people that I hope somehow comes through to them. And I feel love from things people make for me or buy with me in mind. I feel little internal hugs when I am reminded of these dear souls.
My motley collection of objects helps me feel grounded and connected to my community, my spirituality, and my planet. I feel the love from long-departed loved ones through their gifts, and that brings me contentment and peace. That’s worth having to deal with a bit of clutter, I think.
(And if you don’t like my clutter, don’t hang out with me!)
2 thoughts on “Gifts of Love That Live On and On”
This was extremely helpful for me to read. My husband is very much like you. His language is gifts too, and he attaches great emotional value to many (MANY!) items and trinkets. We’re planning a move and I’m thinking all that crap should be disposed of somehow and he is filled with distress at the very thought of it. Recognizing that my minimalist perspective and his maximalist one are conflicting helps me understand and cut him a little slack. Validating the connection he has with “stuff” is something I need to really embrace and accept. Thanks for your perspective! It has given me reason to pause and reconsider.
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Absolutely! Each perspective has merit and makes sense to each of us. Interesting how we react so differently!