Shopping is an old pasttime of mine. No, let's be completely honest - shopping was a big addiction and a large part of my life.
Just like anything of this nature, alcohol, sex or any other 'pasttime' that hangs around, it's all about looking for things to feel better. We think the things create the good feelings, so it's natural to go seeking stuff that 'makes us feel good'.
But no matter what the compulsion, many of us have started to notice that it doesn't actually work for the purpose intended. At least not in the long term. It just moves the pain around for a while.
If you consider the way we learn to think about the world (pleasure comes from having and getting things, safety comes from protecting ourselves against horrible things*) It's very understandable. And frankly, for some of us it will take reaching the very end of the rope of endless seeking, before we even start to consider that viable alternatives might exist.
I do think we have a longing for something in life, but I don't think that is the same thing as nagging insatiable desire. It is a tragedy to confuse the two. Once you come to believe that happiness can only lie in satisficing desires, you are doomed to a life that is driven by acquiring and then the real tragedy emerges: it is not so much that we can't ultimately get what we seek, but the looking back on life and realizing you've wasted it seeking something you didn't need.
I don't think a closet full of clothes would make up for that. Somehow.
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