Can the American Dream Harm Relationships?

Everything you own takes up resources somehow. Time spent researching it, organizing a spot for it, maintaining it. Money spent on buying it, storing it, cleaning it. Even the things we don't own but fixate on owning takes up space in our thoughts.

Most of us don't have an infinite amount of money, and we all have a finite amount of time. How we choose to spend these resources, or dwelling on not having "enough" or "the best", can make us a captive to our possessions (or lack of possessions), and keep us from having authentic relationships. 

My story reads: 

“Tammy sees a good friend while out for a walk. She thinks, ‘I would love to just sit and have coffee and catch up with this friend. But my house is just not the way I’d like it to look. I need a new couch...nobody wants to sit on my lumpy old couch. Or my cramped eat in dining area. I have no artwork on my walls right now, it looks so bland. What is my kids are too loud. I will wait until I’ve got my act together.’“ 
(Yes this is a true story! Yes I actually worry about my walls being blank and it has kept me from inviting people over.)

photo by  Myscha Oreo

Someone else's might read: 

“I’d love to have some friends over for a game night. But first I’d need to wash the cars, mow the lawn, clean the whole house, figure out some amazing appetizers, get a new outfit...”

That might be extreme, but does it all resemble how you feel? 

An old friend calls and is in the neighborhood and would like to stop by. Is it easy to pick up a few things and open the door? Or does everything need to look perfect and polished before anyone can step in? Do you have a thousand things that need to be polished? 

Your child’s sports team needs a coach and you’d love to do it. Is having to mow the lawn every Saturday morning keeping you from committing? 

Are you constantly trying to keep up with everyone around you, buying a nicer car, a bigger TV, more clothes...but your bank account can’t keep up? Is it difficult to clean because you just have so much stink’n stuff?

Getting rid of actual unneeded “stuff”, or the idea of wanting stuff, opens up our lives to allow us to say yes to people. What do you need to let go of?