See that gold zip in the
picture above? That’s fastens up my
wallet. I love my wallet. It’s navy leather and the inside has a purple
silk lining. Using it makes me
happy. Sometimes, on bad days when I
feel like I’m barely holding it together, getting out the wallet to make a
payment acts as a pick-me up. How can
life be that bad, I think, when I possess such a beautiful object?
Even more than that, the
wallet acts as a useful prompt – a visual reminder of how good, how confident,
how self-assured, I can feel. Sometimes
that prompt alone is enough to help shift my mood in a better direction. Looking at its beautiful lines, I tell myself
that the woman who owns such an item cannot possibly be a slatternly, uncouth,
slobbish, incompetent fool (a selection of the words that most regularly
feature in my negative self-talk hotlist).
The woman who went into a shop and selected that purse was calm,
content, knows her own mind (or at least her own taste) and able to make good
And if I could be that way on
the day I bought the wallet, I can be like that on other days too.
The wallet isn’t magical, but
it does feel like a talisman for me. It
has the power to change how I feel – or, perhaps more accurately, I have assigned
it with a level of meaning that can affect my mood. More important than what it says to the world
is what the wallet tells me about my identity, my desires, my aspirations – who
I am and how I want to be in the world.
Perhaps you are reading this
thinking I am potty, viewing an essentially practical item as some kind of
charm. Maybe you think that declaring
such strong attachment to any object as a sign of materialism, with all the
negative connotations that carries.
Or do you recognise what I’m
saying as being true for your relationship with a particular possession
too? Think about your most treasured
belongings. Are some of them important
to you because of the feelings they evoke about yourself?
The shoes you wore to an
interview that you absolutely nailed?
The dress that you had on when you finally told your ex-partner that you
would not tolerate their behaviour any longer?
The necklace you bought when you earned your first pay packet? The ‘proper’ cookware purchased to mark
setting up a home of your own?
This is not simply about
particular memories but visceral feelings.
I believe that we all own objects which have the ability to evoke strong
positive reactions, objects that can remind and reassure us of our own
strength, power and agency.
Let’s make greater use of
this! It’s not uncommon for people to
wear jewellery that they regard as talismanic but what about other items? Which of your personal possessions take you
to your best self, your wisest self, your most awesome self? And are you channelling that enough? Can you use them more often, wear them more
regularly, display them more prominently?
If you’re struggling with
this, think about anything you own that makes you smile whenever you see it or
use it – that could provide some clues as to your own amulet.
And if you know what yours
is, please share a picture. Get in touch
by commenting below or via social media: there’s Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or the A Life Of One’s Own Facebook page. And of course you can also
email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).