I recently had a fire in my home. It spread so fast, that even with swift firefighters on the scene, it tore through the entire apartment greedily, and resulted in astronomical damage. We had to throw out the burned furniture and a massive amount of clothes and STUFF…and tried to rescue some meaningful trinkets.
I was devastated. So much loss, grief, and regrets. All my carefully arranged decor was ruined. All the non-toxic furniture now permanently ruined by soot. All my herbs and herbal preparations also met my fate.
I was in helpless victim mode. I wished it never happened.
Anyone who knows me, knows I’m actually kind of a hoarder. I didn’t have tons of stuff, but I felt bad ever getting rid of anything that I once valued. I hate waste, so I tried to squeeze function and meaning out of every last thing I owned. Now I wished that I gave away stuff I didn’t need ahead of time, for other people to get the benefit. Now no one can use the stuff lost to the ashes.
Still, I am so grateful and thank the Universe and God/Goddess for my blessings. No one got hurt. Every loss was material, and can be replaced. I had active insurance coverage to help pay for damages and repairs.
And it dawned on me that everything has a purpose and message to us. That fire was a catalyst, that was bringing in a new perspective. Yes, it was scarily bright and destructive in its message…but it was heard. I learned some lessons to live by from now on.
Don’t surround myself by materialistic crap. Only bring in an object into my space if it’s sacred to me, and serves a vital function.
Don’t buy in bulk, even on sale. Just buy what I need for right now.
Value what I have, and continue to reevaluate it. If it lost meaning or function for me, donate or toss it.
Focus my attention and drive into my passion and my work, into bringing lasting results for my family and vision of the world…and not into buying more “stuff” that will give me only a fleeting gratification.
Live with minimal stuff, but maximal connection to my family and nature. (My plants will be staying!!! Well, the ones that survived, anyway. And maybe a few more will join the otherwise minimal decor….)
I urge each and every one of you to reevaluate YOUR lifestyle, and your belongings. Learn from my mistakes! Keep only what you need, what you wear, and what you use daily. Do not hold onto what doesn’t serve you. Release it so someone else can benefit from it, even if you can’t anymore. Share the love and the wealth, instead of hoarding.
Follow the Marie Kondo method (see the checklist here), or any other method that resonates, and do some DEEP, Spring-type cleaning, during every season. Continue to cleanse and de-clutter until your home is your safe, clean, beautiful beacon. Only then, will your thoughts start to declutter as well, and your overwhelm subside.
Humans have a curious relationship to clutter and to choices. The more of a mess we live in, the more disorganized our thoughts and emotions become. We are a mirror of our surroundings.
As for choices, we are not happy when we have too many, or too little. Too little, and we feel oppressed and incapable. Too many, on the other hand, can overwhelm us and paralyze us with indecision. We need the golden balance.
Finally, I had another insight. I realized I was focusing my attention on the wrong things. Is the stuff you own, or material possessions, keeping you a slave of your lifestyle and habits?
I am personally rethinking all of that, and considering going tiny – as in tiny home tiny! I’ve been wanting to go sustainable, eco-friendly and minimalist for a while now, and it seems to be a good way to go. I’m still in the research stage…but it seems promising. If anything, this experience has taught me that I DON’T need all the stuff I thought I did. I can be happy with much less.