Minimalism helped me face my fears.
First off, getting rid of stuff made me realize I don’t have to fear not being prepared.
How many times have you decided to keep something “just in case?”
I had this idea that I had to hold onto things in case I needed them.
But that is a fear-based decision.
As you declutter your things, if you keep things because they’re going to help you live the life that you want to live, or if you keep things because they assist you in some way, then that’s good.
But if you keep things because you’re afraid of …something.
It’s a decision based on fear.
Well, I’m afraid I won’t have money to purchase it if I need it. I’m afraid of not being prepared or I’m afraid of whatever it may be.
You’re not keeping it because you want to, you’re keeping it because you’re afraid to not have it.
Minimalism really shifted that for me as I got rid of things that I had been keeping out of fear, and letting them go helped me realize that life is going to be okay.
Even if I’m stripped down and have absolutely nothing left, it would be okay.
Not having some things is not going to bring us harm.
Minimalism helps us get out of our comfort zone
We get used to our environment and no matter how messy it is, if it has been that way for years, we’ve grown accustomed to it and it has become comfortable.
Getting rid of things and having clear spaces was a little uncomfortable. It wasn’t something I was used to.
So often in our lives, we continue with life the way we know it because it seems more comfortable than change. That applies to the stuff we have in our home. It applies to the relationships that we have, the jobs that we keep, all of it.
Because if we’re used to it, we know what to expect.
Even if it’s not healthy, we know how to handle it.
Seeing an empty space in your home can be uncomfortable at first.
When you get out of your comfort zone, that’s when the good things happen.
I got rid of stuff, yes it was uncomfortable, but yes, it opened me up for so much more of just life, not having to take care of the home.
Minimalism does eliminate material things. But even more so, it eliminates all the visual to-do’s that before were jumping out at you wherever you looked.
“You need to dust me! You need to put me away! You need to fix me! You need to organize me! You need to sort me!”
Once you get rid of that, your life isn’t spent sitting there beating yourself up for what you didn’t do.
Being a people-pleaser doesn’t benefit anyone.
Many times, the reasons we keep things is because we don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings.
If Aunt Jane gave us a vase, we don’t want to get rid of it because it might hurt her feelings. We’re trying to protect her from her own feelings, which is not our responsibility.
It doesn’t benefit her to do that and it doesn’t benefit us either.
What good is it doing Aunt Jane if we keep the vase? Does she come to visit the vase? How can that possibly benefit her?
And if you don’t like the vase or just don’t want it, then each time you see the vase you will have some negative feelings toward Aunt Jane. It’s not horrible feelings of hate, it’s subtle resentment that you may not even realize you have.
But resentment definitely brings harm to a relationship.
The people-pleasing, this managing of all their feelings isn’t benefiting them and it’s not benefiting you or your family.
I had to face that.
I was given a lot of Christmas decorations as gifts. I felt that they must really care for me to give me these Christmas decorations. I should show them that I care by displaying those Christmas decorations.
And one day, I realized that I was decorating my house with all of these things that I didn’t really like.
The gifts were given out of obligation and I was displaying them out of obligation.
Neither of us enjoyed the decorations and we were not benefiting from having these things out.
When I got rid of all those Christmas decorations, nobody said anything. They didn’t remember the ones that they gave from year to year because they had purchased them on clearance the year before and they had just given these to the people that they felt obligated to buy gifts for and I happened to be one of them.
I was afraid of hurting people’s feelings.
I was afraid of change and being uncomfortable and I was afraid of not being prepared and not having everything that I needed.
And minimalism addressed all of those because those of us who can be minimalist by choice are so privileged and can easily acquire things we need.