What will remain (of my personal belongings) after I die

One of the reasons that minimalism appeals to me is the profound meaning of living life itself. I believe strongly in the following quote by Joshua Becker:

We were never meant to live life accumulating stuff.  We were meant to live simply enjoying the experiences of life, the people of life, and the journey of life – not the things of life.

To my understanding this represents the true meaning of a life-time and what the result is about. I believe people choose minimalism nowadays because they want to feel freed and they want to experience their happiness now, by stop wasting time and effort on what isn’t important and learn to focus upon what truly matters here and now. Many minimalists have their awakening once they encounter the death of a close someone, realizing all the stuff that this person held on to and experiencing how much of a hassle all this is for the ones you leave behind, to deal with. Not only does it awaken your consciousness of the future and the life of those who will outlive you, you’re also left with the responsibility to make your life meaningful to yourself and others without the overkill of owning a unhealthy amount of stuff.

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Something personal here: I am considering never conceiving my own children and I will write about this topic more in depth eventually hopefully later. But for now, this is a simple fact: I will not find purpose in my life in procreating another life. I find it ethically and morally right to limit myself to my own existence and share my life with those who are already here on earth to find meaning together in this world. I realize that my choice leaves me with the knowledge that everything I own won’t be a heritage to an offspring but it might be taken into use by those who can benefit from my stuff and those who have some sentimental value to my existence (my partner for example, some friends or even my parents if they live long enough). I am well aware that the meaning of your life is limited to what you make out of it, what you pursue, what you give to others and what you radiate (love, inspiration and so on). Nobody will remember you for your stuff, they will remember you despite of your stuff. There is a story going on in my family about an aunt that when she died, everyone was so baffled by how much junk she accumulated and they made fun of her at that moment while cleaning out the house, but even worse: it’s the only way people remember her today. It’s like she never made an impression worth remembering, I imagine she must have been an introvert to the extreme and not even a kind person because instead of sympathy and compassion, people felt the need to mock her illness of hoarding. It somehow always touched me to hear this story of someone I haven’t known personally in my life.

With minimalism I feel like you’re actually aware of mortality and become at peace with the thought even more. Not only because you’re less worried about ‘where your stuff will end after you die’, but also because you become aware of how to live your life during your lifetime, making the most of it, choosing to live happily and healthy instead of wasting your most valuable asset in life: your time.

Try to see the meaningful through the meaningless. Find good in the bad and hold on to what works, to what makes you happy to what keeps you going. Remember the positive in your lifetime and overcome the bad times. Your life is worthy and you should treat it that way, without becoming arrogant. Contribute in any way possible, anything to make you feel valuable without disabling others or let others wreck you. Don’t let people take advantage of your kindness and generosity. Find the balance between giving and not expecting to receive anything without being robbed. Here is a great poem -I shared a while back- that wraps up this topic for now.

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I don’t want to produce any more waste

When you start to approach a minimalist lifestyle, the first change you go through is to declutter yourself from everything you don’t need anymore. First it is the physical space in your home (getting rid of everything that does not spark joy and distracts you from achieving your wishes in life). Then it becomes the mental and emotional self (freeing yourself from bad habits, harmful relationships, negative mindsets, stress..) Finally you’ve managed to make room for what matters to you and you able yourself to be fully in charge of your own life choices. When applying the skills of decluttering and minimizing to everything you do on a daily basis, you will gain more; time, focus, space, money, awareness, freedom, joy.. and experience less; stress, distractions..

It is hard for me to call myself a true minimalist yet,  but it is definitely my way of life. I know am going there, but today I am still in the first process of decluttering myself. In the meanwhile I’ve already seen many positive changes and thus far I’ve gained great experiences and knowledge. While I share some bits of my journey with you, I wanted to talk about a specific problem I have been dealing with while tidying up.

As an ecologic minded person, I have felt very restricted in enabling myself to toss things away and declutter without guilt. Sure it is okay to donate books and stuff that can be reused, but when it comes to items that will most probably get tossed into to trash because nobody will get a use from it, it’s very heartbreaking to realize how much waste you are adding to the landfill. I don’t think I am that much of a hoarder but the amount of stuff that I kept because I didn’t know where it could end up or be thrown away, has made me think about the impact of my problem upon myself. It has completely prevented me from becoming a better person.. and in order to feel better about myself and make better decisions from now on, I have to accept and forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made in the past. I am working towards a zero waste lifestyle but for now I have to accept that this includes some waste in the process.