Everybody likes clothes. Fashion changes every day, and it is a marathon trying to keep up with the changing trends. The addiction of wanting to please society by wearing the newest styles is a common instinct. But do we need to accumulate materials that are just going to clutter our lives? A question for self-reflection would be to ask yourself is: “What void in my life am I trying to fill?” If going shopping feels like your therapy and you rely on it to be happy, you can be sure that you are trying to compensate for something.
When you’re having that next mental breakdown staring at your wardrobe screaming silently about what you are going to wear, you think life would have been so much easier if we only had five outfits to choose from. I know that it’s usually my thinking when my dad is screaming outside the door telling me to get ready. But would that be a bad thing? De-cluttering and minimising your belongings could have positive effects in your life and also for your pockets! Instead of accumulating cheap clothes, try investing in quality clothing which can last you for a long while. And there is a word for this type of lifestyle. It is called Minimalism.
No, it does not mean living poorly. It means living with what you only essentially need. That probably does not include that $200 PlayStation or that $50 foundation. It would be a satisfying feeling not to have to be obsessed with the addiction of consumerism. It is a way of slowing down your life and prevents you being consumed by worldly possessions. You should surround yourself with a refined peace which comes from a decluttered environment.
Our primary source of inspiration for living a minimalist lifestyle would be Jesus himself. When Jesus sent out the seventy-two, He commanded the disciples to “…not take a purse or bag or sandals… do not move around from house to house” (Luke 10:4, 10:7). The disciples would have been treated like royalty, but Jesus encouraged them to travel simply only taking what they need. If you need a current physical example to follow the minimalist lifestyle, let’s take Pope Francis! He chose humility over luxury in many instances such as choosing to travel by bus and opting to live in apartments rather than grandiose settings. If you’re living your life as a Catholic, it’s pertinent to know the dangers of consumerism and understand it in the context of a Catholic Social Teaching.
The Church teaches that it is a phenomenon that threatens to hurt our future generation into living in a world where consumerism becomes a natural environment which compromises their ability to make healthy consumer decisions (Compendium of the social doctrine of the Church).
So it is time to put that desire to buy more behind. Time to slow down and look around your room. Are materialistic things slowing down my physical and spiritual life? If you are nodding your head, you can make a change. You can centre and refocus your life by living with just what you need. As a Catholic when the temptation arises, and you become attracted to worldly belongings, just remember that we come into the world with nothing and we are going to go back with nothing.
Tisly Thomas is an aspiring teaching and art student, in her own journey to discover her faith. An avid book lover, she loves her music and hanging out with her friends during her spare time. She loves her coffee, indulging in chocolates and any Indian sweets.
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