The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.

~Chinese Proverb~

Who are you? Sorting through your clothes can be a revelation

September 3, 2012

Miguel de Cervantes wrote, “Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world.” He obviously never sorted through a closet stuffed with years of accumulated clothes (probably too busy with windmills). The way we do or do not let go of items we own tells us plenty about ourself.

It can be freeing and frustrating to go through closets and dressers, weeding out clothes that do not fit or are dorky looking. You will likely find more than a dozen items still pinned with price tags. There will be clothes bought on impulse, or to brighten a bum day. Clothes that used to be in style and now look silly, although someday that style will be back.

Clothes are practical, and fun. They cover our body and express our personality. Even people who care little about appearance say something with their crumpled drab shirt and khakis. We put on clothing to keep us warm, to hide, to stand out, and for artistic expression.  

Our level of attachment to clothes is related to our financial history and current monetary flow. It has to do with our parent’s and grandparent’s attitudes about money and clothing. There are clothes shoppers who have never worried about price tags, free to purchase whatever they like, and many who purchase whatever they like on credit. 

Sorting through our clothes reveals personal fears. We might hang on to things that are worn or ill fitting because we fear the future. Some of our clothes have sentimental ties we loathe to sever. We keep some items that we have outgrown, hanging onto a slim image of ourself wearing that natty suit or dress. 

We might think, “What if I get rid of this jacket and then need one and can’t afford it?” Maybe we hear our parents saying, “This blouse is perfectly good for school, there are plenty of children who have hardly any clothes you know.”  

Our closet holds hostage items that are in style but look ridiculous on us. Maybe we don’t know what our clothing style is so never decide what to keep or discard.

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