Ok, some say it's fun to collect, others find it sentimental, a connection to the past and fond memories, a feeling of achievement, pride and pleasure, the list is long.
BUT, what I was brought up to believe is that love for something comes from an inside place of peace, happiness and contentment, but the fact of wanting to own the same thing, comes from a dark place of anxiety, fear, longing, unfulfilled childhoods, almost panic.
In other words: the healthiest relationship with things is to love them without having to own them.
Trying to understand my striving to collect that surfaces from time to time and then again subsides for months and years on end, I decided to do some research on the psychological source of reasons that drives this behavior. To fully acknowledge it and see beyond the "I like it and find it fun and that's enough for me" feeling towards collecting, one obviously has to be completely honest with oneself.
Interesting and at the same time scary extract from my research...Food for thought:
Kim A. Herzinger, an English professor, award-winning author and avid collector, on collecting.
"Collecting is a means by which one relieves a basic sense of incompletion brought on by unfulfilled childhood needs,” Herzinger said. “It functions as a form of wish fulfillment, which eases deep-rooted uncertainties and existential dread.”
Psychologist Werner Muensterberger shares Herzinger’s idea. In his book titled “Collecting: An Unruly Passion: Psychological Perspectives,” Muensterberger says that control of the object collected brings “relief of the child’s anxiety and frustration that comes with feeling helpless and being alone.”
While collecting stems from incompletion of the past, Herzinger adds that it's also a passion. “Collecting, like most passions, has the capacity to let (the collector) live in another world for a while. If I could tell you why passion allows us to inhabit another world, I would stop collecting.”
Herzinger says the collector is engaged in a kind of worship. “(The collector) is experiencing the kind of sensory transcendence that we most closely associate with religion or love. And, like religion or love, his collection is a kind of security against uncertainty and loss.”
Herzinger also warns that while the collection brings much love and joy to the collector, there will always be disappointment. “I once had a very good friend, a record collector, who was showing me around his jazz collection. At some point, after itemizing some of the choicest items, he fell into a kind of silent ache, apparently disappointed with my response, or lack of it.”
Many people feel they have a special bond with their collection and can’t help but feel frustrated that no one seems to appreciate it as much as they do.