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Minimalism Isn’t The Answer

Image: dan

Welcome to Loving Simple Living!  Life gets crazy so easily and it is hard to enjoy a crazy life.

I talk a bunch about minimalism on this blog because that is where I am passionate about.  I have got to meet several other people who are starting the process and excited for change.  Minimalism is exciting!  It represents a freedom from lots of stress, work, and commitments that are weighing us down.  We talk about liberating, exciting, freedom, passion, priorities, and dreams.  These are all such fun words.

However, minimalism is only a tool.

Life is hard to figure out.  Lots of the big questions, I believe, come down to:

  1. What is the purpose of life?
  2. What is the purpose of my life?
  3. Can I make a difference?
  4. Who am I?  Who am I to me? Who am I to others?

Life is tough to figure out.

In dealing with these questions humans look for things to try and fill or answer them. Unfortunately, we tend to look for quick fix answers or look for ways to mask the thoughts all together.  Often people ‘deal’ with them with either avoidance, depression, or addiction (with substances or unhealthy relationships).

Materialism has been a great mask and addiction in our current society.  It gives us the promise of happiness and purpose and then follows up these undeliverable things with regret, busy-ness, and debt.  It is a cycle that keeps businesses making lots of money and a large part of the population masked to life’s questions.

Minimalism isn’t the next quick fix to figuring out life. Life isn’t about less stuff.  Minimalism is a tool to help shed off the layers, the mask, so we can get a better look at our life again.

I love minimalism and simple living, but they aren’t the answer to the big questions. Minimalism still doesn’t give anyone anything to live for.  Minimalism helps remove the lies we have used to answer the question.

I am excited you are coming on this journey with me.  I love that you are reading, and I love getting to know you and hear your story. I just wanted to help define in my mind and in our communication the place minimalism belongs.  Hugely important, but only because of what is truly important.

On these big questions I am still working. I am not sure the human brain can fully understand and answer them but it is worth a lifetime of trying. I am a Christian and am striving and praying that it can be a lifestyle of love and service with a clear destination more than a culture, tradition, habit, or societal tribe.   …. however, I believe religion can be another mask that doesn’t really answer the big questions either, but that is probably another post 🙂

I am currently participating in The Big Unplug.  I would love to hear what you think and love your comments but won’t be able to respond till next week.  Have a great day!

8 Comments

  1. Carmen Carmen

    I’m trying to figure out the answers to those big questions too. Daily life just never quite satisfies on the deepest level (which I think I’ve come to realise not everyone has. Some people do not have deep ‘cravings’ like this.)

    Interestingly, the pastor’s wife at the church I’m currently going to says the meaning of life is to live for Christ. A relationship with Jesus IS the whole meaning of life and our sole purpose for being. There is nothing else. I was intrigued to see that you wrote religion can be a mask too.

    I struggle with the concept that we were put on this earth purely for our creator’s enjoyment. That thought doesn’t sit with the ‘all loving, all powerful God’ that shines through in the Bible for me sometimes. What do you think? (I’ll expect a delay, I know you’re unplugged.)

    • Hope you enjoy your week unplugged! It’s a challenge to find the balance of “unplugged” time in every day, as a SAHM it’s easy to just plug in for 10 minutes here and there, making it feel like I’ve been plugged in all day. I’m wondering what others do in their schedule, do you set a scheduled time frame to plug in or do it throughout the day? I took a drive by myself to a beautiful park in my area the other day and left my phone behind. It was freeing, but I admit I did feel a bit isolated in an awkward way.

      • For me, I try to only have the computer on early in the morning. I wake up before my kids to have some quiet time, and that is when I have my computer time. Of course, I also have an iphone that beeps every time I get an e-mail…so I do tend to check my e-mail periodically through the day. And then usually during their rest time I spend a bit of time on the internet or read a book. I am wanting to take a big break on the technology, but it is almost impossible with how our lives are these days.

        My husband works from home, and I blog. Our banking is online. The way we communicate with family is through skype. It is a tricky thing to step away from it, but it is definitely needed. Have you seen the blog unpluggedsunday.blogspot.com There are a lot of great ideas for unplugging there 🙂

        • I am trying to figure out how to schedule my computer time as well. I wish I got up before the kids… but that almost never happens. They are early birds.

      • isolated, awkward, like I am forgetting something. I understand 🙂 I am trying to figure out my scheduling of ‘plugged in’ time. Right now I work after lunch while the kids have free time and then while they rest from about 1-2:30. Then again after they go to bed. I have been trying to keep it at that and not grab 10 minutes whenever I can because as soon as I start something it is hard to stop and I start feeling squeezed in all I need to get done in the day.

    • thanks, throw the tough questions at me 🙂 I think big picture we were created was for a relationship with God. Simplistically, he made us to be friends with Him. Not as a whole bunch of servants or people to make Him happy. Relational themes run strong in the bible. Love and relationship has to allow choice and we have the choice to have a relationship with Him or not (also, all through the bible). This is what I believe, big picture, for the meaning of life or the reason for life. I think this was kind of what I was going at with this post. I don’t want minimalism to be to me (or to readers) the main point. It is easy to grab on to different ideas or themes and get all excited about them. Minimalism is just about removing other societal distracting ideas.

      I think religion can be a way to hide, to identify oneself, to have a group tell you what to do and how to fit in. That was what I was touching on but didn’t want to take off on a tangent 🙂 I believe that Jesus is a reason for living and a relationship with Him helps start answering the big questions, but often religion is grabbed for the mask and identity without ever finding Jesus. I am still trying to figure it out in my head and learn and grow. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Hey Lorilee, have you heard of Kurt Willems? He’s a friend of mine who blogs/talks a lot about the kind of spirituality you’re describing. You should check him out if you haven’t already! http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/

    • thanks, I will check it out 🙂

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