When I was a child, I used to think hiding from my fear was the best solution to addressing it. When there seemed to be monsters in the closet, I would bury myself under all the possible blankets I could find and pull in all my furry stuffed animals into the covers with me. Only under the covers could I block out the impending doom of my closet.
As I got older, my closet seemed to overflow with childhood memories and a large collection of clothes. Rather than addressing the continual overflow, I simply shoved items into every possible corner in order to shut the closet door from any potential monsters.
It was not until I moved around a lot that I discovered my own fear with minimalism. My personality holds a memory to every item that comes into my space of consciousness. From stuffed animals I carried around as a child to the fancy dresses I wore to events as I got older, each item I felt connected to. Every time I reached to out to an item to set into the donation pile, a memory would constrict me from ever letting it go. Yet I wondered, was the fear of losing memory even helping me in my journey?
What Fear Does
Fear keeps us from truly being ourselves. Fear restricts understanding of the future and traps your consciousness in a box. Fear drives some people, while others it cripples from reaching their goals. Fear is what keeps many from experiencing the world, and it keeps many from ever really understanding what life could be.
While I wrestled with my fear of losing my own history, I realized that many items I held onto were painful memories. While I once treasured them with the happiness of a season, not every season ended well. Even t-shirts from high school harbored memories of my past that were no longer serving me. So why on earth did I fear losing these memories?
Truth is, fear was crippling me.
As a writer and an empath, I will try to find meaning in anything and everything. Each item I pulled out of my closet, I wanted to feel those memories to remember what brought me to where I am. There comes a point though when it is time to let it all go. The memories no longer serve you if you are not nearly the person you were all those years ago.
So I reached for the dress that I used to run around the house in before my first date and let it go. That season has long since passed, and the fear of losing it no longer crippled me.
Process of Letting Go
Overcoming fear comes with the process of letting go. When it comes to approaching the minimalist lifestyle, there are multiple facets of your life that teach you to let go. Many people start with their clothes in the closet, but it also comes down to choosing to let go of the things that no longer serve you.
I felt buried in my memories and stayed in that feeling for many years every time I opened my closet. As time pushed me away from old memories, I realized that many of those memories were wrapped in the pain of loss. Reaching out to that old dress only presented a feeling of loss, not beauty or hope.
When you go through your things, are there memories that you need to let go?
Are there seasons in your past that you only remember when you come across the items in your home? If so, then it may be time to let go. Letting go starts with forgiving the memory, and letting go of the items that no longer serve your happiness in life.
Overcoming Fear of Minimalism
Everyone has their doubts at they begin a journey of minimalism. It can be hard letting go of things in your life, yet there is freedom in it. Overcoming your fear gives a profound sense of freedom and resilience for what life may throw at you next.
When you look around your house, what helps you be a better you? What drives you every day to make a better life for yourself? When you let fear stand in the way of your lifestyle, then you are only hiding under the blankets hoping the monster of life will go away.
In your own time, find the time and space to go through the things that constrict you from approaching a lifestyle of freedom.
Overcome the fear of minimalism to give more space in your life for the things that truly matter. Whether you are going through years worth of things, or only a few items that harbor memories, take courage. Your memories and your things are only a piece of you, they do not define you.
From the beginning stages to the every day of minimalism, it is possible to overcome the fear of minimalism to begin living the life you have always dreamed. Do not let fear stand in the way of letting things go in your life.