We are constantly being bombarded by media to buy, buy, buy. Now that YouTube haul videos have become extremely popular, we are now seeing others sharing the gazillion things that they recently purchased. Consumerism is glamorized so much in our culture, yet I have never ever seen anyone become deeply satisfied in life because of the things that they have. When we look to materialism to fill a void in our lives we in essence become insatiably satiable.
I no longer define abundance with material possessions.
In many cases the “abundance” in a home can instead feel overwhelming and actually consuming. This consuming feeling usually becomes a beast when hosting a party/get together and you want your home to all of a sudden look like a magazine. This beast becomes enormous when it’s time to move and you are overwhelmed looking over what you need to pack wondering where all of this stuff came from. I’m only speaking, or writing for that matter, from my own personal experience.
I have become more aware that with everything that I own there is a maintenance that comes with it as well as accessories and equipment that it needs to function properly. This maintenance is usually valuable time and/or money, if it needs servicing, and these things definitely take up valuable space. If a lot of your time and money is used taking care of your things, are your things really adding immense value to your life, or is it taking value from it?
My time has become my most valuable asset in my life as it can’t be bought, sold, refunded, or exchanged.
There is no return policy on time, yet it is so easy to be absent minded on how we use it. I had three family members pass away last year, and it really had me thinking more about the time we have on this planet as well as what we leave behind when we are no longer here. Our time is not necessarily guaranteed, nor is there a warrenty for a certain amount of time in our lives.
Since I began my minimalist lifestyle journey in 2010, learning to live with less has allowed me to rethink my life in ways I would have never been able to if I continued to stay in the “matrix of materialism”. Simple living has forced me to question almost everything in life versus accept what just is and follow the norm. When we stop asking questions, the child in us dies quietly in the dark corner. It is important to question everything including the simple things like why am I buying this? Will this item add value to my life, slowly deplete my bank account, add to the clutter, and/or only just make me “happy” during the purchase? Joy from materialism isn’t true joy. It is just an addictive high which never lasts. Emotional shopping and minimalism are definitely not compatible partners in life.
Healthy and loving relationships, unique enriching experiences, and feeling estatic about what we do everyday, most likely a creative venture of sorts, is what feels divinely abundant and satisfying at least to me. Questioning the true place that my personal possessions have in my life can definitely be time consuming. Yet once I’ve gone through it, decluttered and downsized, there really is more time to just live life creatively versus just go shopping.
(Image by Dawn Michelle)