Tuesday, 29 July 2008

On feeling guilty

I have bought many clothes in the past couple of weeks. They are certainly things I do not need, but have wanted to have anyway. I don't know if I have been trying to combat some kind of a spiritual void with all this shopping, but let me tell you, if there is a void I need to fill, it sure ain't happening with a bunch of new clothes, because the more I buy, the more I want.

I don't actually even know why I feel so guilty about all this shopping. Sure, a lot of money has been spent on all sorts of random things, but it is not like I am bankcrupt. Maybe it is about a guilty conscience, that one should not award oneself with too many material goods if one hasn't somehow "earned" them, or maybe it is the influence of certain people in my life at various times who have been very careful with the way they spend money and the type of material possessions they invest in.

When I spend money on clothes, or even if I get them for free, it is a guilty pleasure. But why? Would I be a better person if I didn't have this many clothes? At what point did I start thinking that the material world is, or should be, somehow below me? Perhaps it is the same ancient pattern that connects men with reason and knowledge, and women with emotion and instinct. One doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why it is the women that feel guilty for buying a new pair of shoes, and not the men for spending a fortune on a new car. (And no, it is not about not needing the shoes but needing the car.)

The key word to everything around us is power: the power we have over ourselves and others, or even more so, the power someone else has, or has had, over us. I have had power over myself for a long time, but I still haven't learned to use it. I don't recognise it. I hide behind other people's perceptions, and act or feel accordingly. It is not that I, myself, feel guilty about the shopping, it is thinking what other people think that makes me feel ashamed. Perhaps recognising this and truly understanding the meaning of it will be a step towards something new and palpable in my life.

How great is it to have cats, in the midst of all this consumer confusion? All I have to do is to look at Illusia sleeping like this, and my mind is free of a big bunch of nonsense I think about all day long.


Hailey @ stylesymmetry.com said...

I find the best things are things I do not need. As long as I lve them then it's alright :-)

Anne said...

I've been doing the same thing the past few weeks, only with books, and I came to the same conclusion you did. But I especially love that last part because it's totally true! Kitties always seem to know just how to fix things! :D

Iheartfashion said...

Awww....your cat is adorable!
And I can certainly relate to your guilt about shopping. Although that's done nothing to slow me down.

queasybee said...

"...the same ancient pattern that connects men with reason and knowledge, and women with emotion and instinct"

oh yeah? yikes. i do not know how to adequaltely express my astonishment that you appear to believe this.

The Waves said...

queasybee: of course I don't believe this, that is the point I am trying to make here. The sad fact is that this is how most of us are conditioned to think. Starting from the Pythagoreans, women have been positioned on the dark side of the dualist nature of existence. Sometimes this has been blatant, sometimes hidden. How many female philosophers do we know of? How many of them are famous, house-hold names? And my point is that of course the female vacuum in the field of intelligence/reason is NOT because women really are on the cheap emotional side of the spectrum, (opposed to men), but because there have been, and still are, frameworks of power that have put women there. Unfortunately it is sometimes tough even for smart women to overcome this type of millenia-long conditioning, and to really take on the power to believe that we are, and can be, whatever we want to be.

Anonymous said...

I really understand what you mean when you talk about being influenced by other people's opinions, taking on their beliefs and feelings. We have been repressed and made to feel ashamed for so long. I have a problem asking for what I want because I feel guilty and ashamed and afraid of the person's answer..like I have no right to have what I want. I just realized this recently. This happens especially with people in authority positions. I hope I have the power to overcome this shame/guilt/fear so that I can be the confident person I know that I can be (and you too!).