I think there are two camps when it comes to minimalism. Some people hear of the concept and it rolls right off of them. Interesting, they think, but not for me. Others, like me, hear of minimalism and it sticks. We know it is something we aspire to, and the concept tugs at our heartstrings as we go about our daily lives.
It feels easy to know that your are a minimalist at heart, but the execution of minimalism is where things get messy. Practicing minimalism has forced me to confront many things about myself that were uncomfortable. I have at times felt selfish, gluttonous, inauthentic, wasteful, irresponsible, jealous, insecure, ineffective, and just plain shameful.
Selfish: I can’t remember the last time I gave money to charity.
Gluttonous: I have a bad habit of buying multiples of everything I like.
Inauthentic: I am not living the vision of minimalism I have in my head.
Wasteful: Decluttering my home has created a tremendous amount of landfill waste.
Irresponsible: I have saved less money for the future because of my shopping.
Jealous: I bought this item only because my neighbor had it.
Insecure: I thought I needed to own sports equipment in order to be a real athlete.
Ineffective: I’ve been working on becoming a minimalist, but I have so far left to go.
Shameful: I’m not entitled to call myself a minimalist because of the size of my home.
These are just a few of the thoughts that have crossed my mind throughout the minimizing process. I wrote them down in order to get them out into the open and shed light on the fact that sometimes minimalism gets ugly.
I wanted minimalism to be rainbows and unicorns, but it’s just like any other worthwhile challenge. There are highs and lows, and it takes work to reach your goals. I’ve learned to be more compassionate towards myself when I struggle, and encourage myself to continue even when things get ugly.