I stopped whole heartedly believing in God when my grandma died. I couldn’t understand how a being that apparently loved me so much would rip away one of the most important people in my life and in such a horrific manner at that. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still believe in some Christian teachings and I do believe in a higher power…just not quite sure if it’s what I originally thought “God” to be. I’m not sure I can call myself a full Episcopalian like I once was able to.
So, with this, I started to look into other religions. I took a world religion class in college and found that I really related to Buddhism as well. Again, would not classify myself as a full Buddhist but just like Christianity I believe in some of their teachings.
One particular teaching really hit home for me. Recently, I have been reading a book titled “Buddhist Boot Camp” by Timber Hawkeye. There was a passage called, “Less is More” where he talks about not having very many physical things. The author’s father comes to visit him for a month and when first arriving gawks at how little he physically has in his apartment.
“After living with me for a month, however, preparing my meals with me, going for long walks everyday, reading, writing, meeting with people one-on-one, and truly tasting the simplicity of my life, he hugged me before boarding his flight back home and said, ‘There is nothing missing from your life!'”
The friend who let me borrow this book then told me about a challenge. On the first day of the month you get rid of one thing. The second day two things. The third day three things and you keep going until the end of the month and by then you will have gotten rid of at least 300 things.
Three hundred seems like a daunting number, doesn’t it? She told me that you really have to go through your space and pick up things, look at them and ask yourself two things:
- Have I used this in the last six months?
- Does this item bring joy to my life?
So, I did just that. I went through my room, picked up things and asked myself these questions and a majority of the time the answer to at least one of them was no.
In getting rid of all these things, I found that I was able to display more of the things that reminded me of Taylor in my room…things that actually brought joy to my life. I donated my Victoria’s Secret Pink mini dogs that I had lined up on a shelf (I used to work there and have bad memories attached to those dogs so why did I have them on display anyway?) and replaced them with a Navy bear that Taylor bought for me and a picture of us. This all made perfect sense to me.
And it didn’t stop there. I thought about how this would be helpful to military wives. Being a minimalist means having less things…which means having less to move when the Navy decides it is time to relocate across the country. How nice would that be?
There is less clutter to haul and more space to enjoy the things that actually bring you joy. There is more room to enjoy relationships and more money to spend on experiences with those that you love instead of silly things.
My grandma passing away taught me a lot about loss and about the things that actually matter. Being a Navy girlfriend has only anchored those lessons deeper into my life. Spending quality time with my family and having the money to go visit Taylor more often means far more to me than the latest Bath and Body Works lotion or a new skirt that will end up at Goodwill in a years time anyhow.