I tried to live a minimalistic style life a few years ago, and somewhere along the way I got swept up in the material world once again and found myself living with far more than I or anyone needs.
More stress. More ‘shoulds’. More need for control. More clutter. More dissatisfaction. More emptiness.
Over this past year, however, I’ve found myself on a very intense spiritual journey that has seen me grow more in 8 months than I ever did in all of my 26 years. I’ve come to finally understand that seeking happiness through tangible, outside things including people, never leads to true happiness.
While buying that new sweater, or starting a new relationship, or buying that new house/car/insert desired thing here, does bring with it a high that we perceive as happiness, it is fleeting. Once the novelty of the thing du jour wears off, you will still be left feeling empty and in search of that next new thing that will finally make your life better.
This leaves us stressed, depressed and worn out with nothing but a collection of things and probably debt to show for it.
Slowly but surely over this year, I began to recognize the cycle and I started looking inward, toward a connection to something higher than myself, to hopefully fill the gap I – and we – had been trying to fill for years.
So I’m working my way to living with less things, less clutter, spending less money, less debt, less stress and frustration, less expectations, less social disconnection and less emptiness.
What it means right now (since I expect it to grow/evolve as I do) is donating half of my wardrobe, not replacing my dying smartphone, not engaging in social media for more than 10-15 minutes on any given day, not spending money on unnecessary ‘things’ and becoming unattached to possessions and money. We’ll see where it goes from there.