I was a minimalist before minimal was cool and didn’t even know it. I’ve had what I deemed clutter for many years and it did not bring me joy. I didn’t grow up with particular brands and labels, but I was clothed and thankful. I did spend many years of my youth in a trailer home. This lifestyle may have gotten me ridiculed about as poor or trashy, but we really weren’t. It was the life my parents chose to be in, work for and own outright. We relied on God to keep us safe in all sorts of storms and I’m still alive, so must work. We traveled and had experiences that to this day is a remembrance of a great life.
It seems to be at a younger age that I noticed when all the wants and egos of things and desiring something without work came into play was when we suffered. If we set goals and worked towards them was a great underlying message in my life. Gift giving was always a stressor in our family, I just gave from my heart, with handmade gifts. Yet, if I felt like I got too much it was you know too much. Not that it was a deserving thing but could have had a little to do with it. I always seemed to rather have connections and adventure over what I could get or buy. I was a natural sharer and giver. I had 8 years being the only child of my mother until my brother was born. So, I knew how to entertain myself very well. I had plenty of alone time to consider life, who I was, and what I liked. Sure, I had toys just not a lot of them. I didn’t like having to clean up too many items or I’d feel claustrophobic. Currently, I am given gifts of love of someone’s art and it is cherished, appreciated, and gladly kept up with. It wasn’t an expected thing. I do like the nice surprises life brings.
I learned from visiting friends, family, etc. what nice things were. Things that mattered got used or dusted because they were truly enjoyed. I also witnessed the neglected items that collects dust, but it meant something to the person it belonged to.
Don’t get me wrong, I did have a shopping problem at one time. I used the credit cards to buy clothes for the ever growing sons I had. But as I quickly seen that what I got I really didn’t have a lot to show for it and all the stress of paying it off. Then for the said clothes to go down the line and out of the house. So, all kinds of clutter, especially in my mind, only brought me anxiety. Some stores are known to still give me anxiety. Don’t get me wrong I do buy things that I need for sure. I shop intentionally for needs and get the heck out of there.
It is memories made by adventures, simplicity, conversations, laughter, and love that has made my life joyful and bleaceful (bliss + peace). Sure, I had very hard times. In all my recollections, I wouldn’t change where I am today for all the lessons learned out of hardships, tests, ridicule, trials, prayer, and meditation. They each taught me valuable life lessons. I’m not ashamed of what I have or don’t have. I’ve been blessed to receive everything I ever needed, when I needed it the most. I have learned to lean on that trusting more than the anxiety of thinking I don’t have and when is it coming. It’s not beneath me to live like I once did in my youth. If it looks poor to someone else, it could be someone else’s paradise. I don’t have to live in the land of “I wish I had” or “look at what I do have”. Yes, this is a big milestone believe me.
I’m not less than because I don’t have (fill in the blank). It is not what you have that defines you regardless of what main stream media or marketing/advertising ploy says. Yet, we all fall for it or get lost in it. The convenience, quick fix, ease of use, one time application and throw away only to overfill trash on our landfills is a quick glance at what we are doing wrong. The great side trick of a quick fix does not work. It takes work sometime the hardest work is all the inside work we are faced with. It is the character wise that does define you in every developing way until your body dies.
The character that develops is what helps you grow as a humble and kind human being in what seems to be at times a cruel natured world. This doesn’t mean you cannot have things or have goals for these things help build your character. Understand that nothing is permanent. Things you have can be lost and anything that you don’t have can be attained if you are willing to work towards it.
When anything is put with simplicity makes an impact and to the point. The complicated over exaggerated, over descriptive explanation that tends to be one-sided, only your way of seeing things, over another gets bothersome. Sure, it makes for a great story ha ha. See made my point….
I keep things simple for my own sake of sanity and not because it is trendy, what someone else deems as great, or that I am tricked in to wanting to. It has been something I have kept with me from my youth that does hold true with all that I’ve been through. It is a choice not to be bogged down and get as simple as you can. I enjoy clean lines, quicker cleaning, less stuff and more living. I find nature beautiful where it is in nature. I don’t have to own a piece of it inside the home. Unless I’m totally loving something in particular or has a usefulness. Is my home spotless? NO! It’s lived in with the ones I love. Being minimal doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy and use things that brings families closer. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t still spills or other oopsies in life that still happen. It’s a work in progress.
Simple is NOT unintelligent and naïve. I’m very aware of things more than one can really see. It doesn’t have the aspects of whether or not I deserve something. For this unlimited source does provide as I need. I do not want to be greedy nor will I ever be. I don’t have to have things to feel I have it all. I have all I need and grateful for all I do have. God yes, Jesus has indeed been good to me.
I know in life what is important to me and what makes me tick. Everyone has their particular “ticks” in life. Just know which ones suck you dry (stay away from those) and ones that make you come alive (come closer to these). You have more authority and power in your own life when you make things simpler. You see things clearer than those wrapped up in 20,000 things going on. Decluttering your mind, space, and heart for me is the only way to be. Yes, meditation and prayer helps.Published in