Shopping doesn’t “heal” me anymore

Yesterday was one of those days where I was fuming with anger about something. A high-stress day, if you will.

Usually, whenever I get angry, I tend to either log into Amazon, order a book, go out to the nearest grocery store, buy a (guilt-free) plastic-wrapped item, or eat ice cream or cake.

But yesterday felt different. Something had changed.

As I sat fuming in the car thinking about my “well-deserved,” guilt-free piece of cake, pizza, ice cream, a journal (I already have 5–10 journals), or a new piece of cloth/shoes, I started thinking.

Was buying these things really going to help me solve my problem?

By buying something that I didn’t need, I was harming someone.

The audacity to justify harming someone else just because I wasn’t getting “my way” with things was the most prominent form of Ego I recognized in myself.

Here’s who I was harming:

a) By consuming fries, cakes, ice-creams, etc., I was punishing my body with lower vibration, high sugar, highly processed food.

b) I was punishing the environment by over-consuming. Whether it be buying a book, 3–4 pieces of clothes, jewelry, shoes, a watch, etc., each of my purchases impacted the environment.

Each of the product I bought:
i) Consumed Energy
ii) Consumed and Polluted Water
iii) (Probably) Promoted low wages and unsafe working conditions to laborers
iv) Added to Climate change (through transportation)
v) Added to Landfills (when I finally threw the product after 1–2 years of use)

Popular shows and movies often showcases people (primarily women) lavishly spend their money on clothes, shoes, makeup, etc., after going through a break-up, divorce, job loss, or any other stress.

These shows often encourage the narrative “Treat yourself .”Additionally, social media builds up this stance.

I realized that I was getting influenced by such external factors.

Capitalism has also become a symbol of freedom of choice and “abundance”.

I once attended a workshop where the speaker asked people to write down a few things that they were “allowed” to do even if others judged them for it. I think the exercise was meant to build confidence among participants for making their own choices.

One person shared this: I give myself the freedom to buy more clothes although I already have enough and just got some new ones a while back.

While most of the group were applauding and praising this stand (yei! woman empowerment?), I couldn’t help but think: Are we that blinded by consumerism?

Is that how we show our authenticity and freedom of choice?

A lovely new blue dress from a high-branded shop doesn’t define who you are; You define who you are.

I can wear shorts and a t-shirt that I purchased six years back and still feel confident. I do not have to go buy a $150 suit to “dress for success.”

It’s all marketing, and brain-washing.

I am not opposed to treating oneself. We can consume in moderation after understanding how our purchases impact the environment and the labor force. But that’s what we lack the most right now.


We cannot just get swayed by popular opinions and advertising campaigns anymore.

And trust me, I know how hard it can be to ignore the shiny, well-packaged new item that is being sold at a 30% discount.

But we are much more than that. We are more powerful than our addictions to consumerism.

And it’s time we opened our eyes and purchased consciously because, shopping CANNOT heal us.

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