One of my favorite songs is one by SIXX:A.M., called "Skin" It portrays the message, that we are not who we re looked at from the outside and what people think about us- not our skin.
When I was downsizing my possessions recently, I came along a phenomenon quite similar to defining us through other people's opinion. Defining us through our stuff.
I especially noticed that while I was going through posters and other decoration items. Whenever I thought about whether to part from a decoration item, that somehow has to do with my interests, hobbies or opinions (that usually applies to all of my decoration items), I said to myself "Let's keep it, so that people who come into my room know that I like/ support/ stand for XY". The sam thing with sentimental items: "We should keep it; then people will know what we already have experienced" It can also apply to tools: "If I keep that tool, everyone will know that I am a DIY/ cooking/ kite surfing person"
What one can see in every of this statements is that I defined myself through my stuff. My stuff existed to show who I am. Because I was my stuff.
This is technically not true. I am not my stuff, I am myself. And regardless of the number of items to depict my beliefs, my beliefs themselves will stay. I will still have made an experience if I do not hang up photos of it all around my room. I am still into kite surfing if I have not pinned my board to my front door.
So, to let go of this false assumtion, I would ask myself a question in these situations:
"If I could not show my room to anybody, would I keep it?"The answer is often no. In this cases, I had kept the items simply for the sake of other people looking at me a certain way, thinking something about me- what is not any different from what the song "Skin" describes.
What do you keep because you think it defines you?