Minimalist vs. Meaningful

Minimalism is about getting rid of the excess in order to focus on what is necessary in life and what is meaningful to us.

I’ve realized recently that one of the reasons I’ve begun my minimalist journey is because I was searching for more meaning in my life. I felt like my mind was full of clutter, and I felt I was lost somehow. When I decided to start working towards minimalism, I realized that even though I now had a lot less stuff, I still felt so mentally cluttered. I thought this mental clutter was mostly because I still had so much stuff left to sort through and get rid of, and so many things I could do to organize what I decided to keep. I felt so much better when I first decluttered and got rid of a lot of my things, but somehow decluttering was not the single, magical experience that would give me true happiness in life (shocking, I know).

After reading through some old journals trying to find inspiration, I realized just how much I had changed in the past few years. I thought about what was important to me back then, and compared it to what’s important to me now, and I found that my values have actually stayed mostly the same. So why did I feel lost?

Even though my values hadn’t changed, I realized that I used to have a very different perspective on the world, and a much deeper understanding of myself and others. So, as I go on my journey of minimalism, the most important part to me is to allow myself to live a more meaningful life that better reflects my values.

One of the ways I plan to do this is by keeping a more regular journal. I used to love writing down every single thought that crossed my mind, and now I usually only write a sentence or two before getting distracted or bored. I’ve often felt like I had to have something interesting or profound to say in order to write it down, so that just in case anyone read my journal (which they won’t) they would think highly of me. The tragedy of this is that I used to use writing especially as a way of processing emotion — as well as a way to process the things that happened each day, and how I reacted or how others reacted. I feel like that’s the main difference that defines my life from only a few years ago to my life now. Since I realized this and started writing more, I already feel more grateful for everything in my life, and I feel more like myself.

I don’t think that minimalism is all about whether or not you have stuff. It’s about having meaning in your life, and about being able to focus on the things that have meaning to you. Getting rid of physical clutter helped me to realize that mental clutter was the real issue, and that there already is a lot of meaning in my life that I had been overlooking.

Have you felt like this? What are some things you do that add meaning to your life?

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