MINIMALISM - as part one
Inhambane | MOZAMBIQUE 2019
A REFLECTING ESSAY
My recent decision to backpack northbound through east Africa made me write on this topic, you may think. Obviously, I had to get rid of some stuff. As I don’t own a house or car, I have to fit all my things in the bags I carry. Well, you’re halfway there if you’re saying this cut-down on the materials made me a self-proclaimed minimalist.
Let me explain. I am from quite a large Portuguese family, many of whom are cluttering hoarders. I guess it’s a generational thing actually. As most of my friends’ parents fit the same category, they have similar habits of attaching fond memories to the things they hoard. These objects keep us from ourselves as these remind us of who we used to be – a fixation on the past. This psychologically detrimental process hinders personal growth. A hoarding impediment develops when one attaches sentimental value to common objects while obsessing over things one doesn’t necessarily need, these could be anything or all things. You, dear reader, may well find that at times you, yourself too, are hoarding things because of some sentiment you’ve attached to a material object. Commonly, such objects could include a gift, something you found, something old, some popular thing new off the shelves or maybe even an heirloom passed down through your bloodline for generations. All these ‘valued’ things do add up slowly. The problem is that too soon you could find yourself fifty years down the line with the same type of things crammed into and oozing out of your house, apartment or old age home’s single room. Where’s the sincere sentiment in that? Who’s going to find any of that stuff valuable and further entertain your hoarding? Entertain an overlooked addiction or bottled up pain. Your children, maybe? Maybe not.
The problem with mental issues as these is that the struggle just grows and grows. In actuality, it’s not helping you with any kind of functioning, it rather creates psychological obsession and fluctuating impulsive thought. Sure, there’s a reason for you deciding to keep that shell, the seven hundredth purchased pair of sandals, another piece of exquisite furniture etc. But is the reason you keep it really related to the function of the object? Do you need the thing for its appropriate function or is it misappropriated to fulfil some obsessive compulsion to mask a psychological need? Such psychological substitution might work in the short term, hence its grip on people. But sooner than later it adds to your real need worsening what you’re truly in need of addressing. Obviously, such a mental process doesn’t just concern hoarding but are the psychological mechanics of most, if not all, addictions.
So, don’t shop for the less purposeful. I wonder if you, my dear reader, have the same issue? Do you have a hundred sandals? Where would you even put a hundred sandals?
Much like the circle of life, where there is death you can be sure it comes back around to re-birth. If you feel the incorrigible need to have something, without actual need for it, you’re likely masking something mental or emotional with material objects. People with obsessions as these, of which you might be one, are not allowing for the full cycle to follow through – they block their own growth, the death of habits that no longer serve them and the birth of healthy ones that give true happiness. Who doesn’t want to be happy? Letting go is a part of life, by not doing so you are certainly damaging your psyche, polluting your spirit and weakening your aura. It’s the bottling up of your emotions, if you don’t let things out, let things die, there is no room for new things to grow. For you to grow into your best human version you need to know that you can be better and ascend to your higher self. As an ascension requires the letting go of the ground, a psychological ascension needs you to integrate all the best from all versions of your self, using negatives as fuel for positive growth. It is good to remember that we are placed on this Earth only for a limited period before we move on to the next life as we die. When you die, all those things you own will someday become someone else’s baggage to carry, their problems to solve.
Using less in this over-producing world is a way of showing respect to yourself, your body/meatsuit, your neighbours, the Earth, its creatures and the humans of tomorrow still to come. If we keep over producing and hoarding the things we don’t need, things that won’t help us grow or progress and sustain the planet, there’s no point of having a human body and an amazing planet in the first place. #EarthFan. Do you wear something brand new every time you see your friends? Are trying to you showing your community how powerful or successful you are? What is the ulterior motive you’re shying from? You are involuntarily being brainwashed by the media and advertising companies to destroy the planet. For the sake of making money out of you they nurture your bad habits while the brand gets free advertising from you when you wear its logo. If you don’t act now, soon we’d be living in each other’s heirloom dumps and capitalist garbage.