When I mention that I am working towards becoming a minimalist the most common reaction is:
Oh I couldn’t do that.
Getting rid of all my stuff and living like a monk?
I don’t want to live like that.
I mean, it’s not that I LOVE stuff.
See, I definitely love the memories and the sentimentality much more than THINGS…
But I can’t live without anything.
Then I get this wry smile on my face and wonder if they ever looked at my jewelery collection they would think the same way again.
1. Being a Minimalist (to me) is not about getting rid of everything
I don’t know where we get that idea in the first place, because I thought the exact same thing the first time I heard about minimalism.
Sure, there are people out there who live with 55 or 100 items, but I am sure as heck not one of them, and I still consider myself to be a minimalist.
But being a minimalist just means that you want to set priorities and evaluate what is REALLY important to you, and getting rid of what is not.
This is so you can achieve a sort of comfortable balance in life.
For me, having furniture, rugs, or decoration is not a big deal, as much as having jewelery and too many laptops is
I’ve achieved a balance that feels comfortable to me.
And I don’t expect anyone to like living like that, or to feel guilty for owning a rug.
2. I don’t think it’s possible to live with nothing!
Even the most extreme of minimalists in the modern world have the clothes on their back and a cup to hold their tea.
Even hobos and bag ladies have things.
It’s basic human nature.
It can mean different things to so many different people, and it is more of a mindset than a specific task or goal.
It isn’t all about physical items, but also doing things like clearing your schedule to make time for yourself.
3. But why do we loathe to admit we like things?
We seem to place a much higher importance on not wanting, having or needing STUFF, than we do on admitting that we like owning and wanting things.
Really?I’m a minimalist, but I like to shop.
And they aren’t opposing thoughts!
The only difference is that I only buy and keep what I really want.
Yet we still have this idea that owning stuff = bad.
It’s not that I think having STUFF is my entire life, or I am materialistic.
I prefer the memories and sentimentality more, but I do need stuff to live.
And I always think:
If you like stuff, then just bloody admit it.
Don’t try and soften that sentence and say that you prefer the memories more.
NO ONE is on the next level, having ascended to only subsiding off memories and having shed the cloak of materialism.
If you like owning what you’ve got, then stop feeling guilty for what you have, and admit it.
It’s as simple as that.
Not everyone has to adhere to The Book of Minimalism, and we’re all okay with that.
I think people put the blame on others to make them feel guilty for wanting and having stuff, which generates a sense of superiority and inferiority…. but doesn’t make any actual sense:
I don’t feel the need to justify owning things. I like them, and that’s it.