How a life of Minimalism taught me about Moderation

 

I have lived most of my current life, supposedly, by the principle of moderation. I guess this is because of good old Catholic guilt and the hopes of living a balanced lifestyle.

Image result for the seven deadly sins
Cute, huh!

But in the past, I have led a deeply sinful and deadly life… I’ll take a deep breath of mortification, while I share seven deadly deeds and my attempt to come back from them in order to live a balanced life…

  1. If my need to be right about everything (pride) makes my dear husband and I fight longer and harder, I suck it up a couple of hours later and say sorry for my part of the argument.
  2. If I eat Hungry Jacks for dinner and ice cream for dessert, then eat a packet of Maltesers during a movie (gluttony), I will make sure I have a super healthy breakfast of oats made with water, blueberries and chia seeds.
  3. If I yell and scream like a lunatic at the kids (wrath), I will make sure I say sorry and calmly explain my frustrations after a huggle (snuggle/hug).
  4. If I become so invested in a Netflix series that I cannot do anything else, laundry, cook, eat, look after children, contribute to society (sloth), I binge watch it in a day so I can get back to reality quicker (still sloth and now gluttony too).
  5. If I feel a desire to have sex for pure self-gratification and not to consummate (lust), I abstain and opt for a deep and meaningful.
  6. If I feel like I cannot deal with wanting everyone’s filtered lives and things (envy), I delete my Instagram.
  7. If I have been stingy with gift-giving when I have money to spare (greed), I might go all out on one another person.

Some might say this is not really a balance or moderation, it’s living my life, like a pendulum constantly swinging from good to bad. I guess, yes, they’re right and yes… it’s FUN and FREE WILL, but then it’s sad, then it’s FUN, then it’s just total conflict in your heart and mind…!

Kermit’s got the idea!

So I have Minimalism to thank for this lesson… operate on a NEED over WANT basis to live in moderation.

When I started to de-clutter hundreds of pieces of my own clothing and accessories and collectables and pots and pans and different coloured dishes and five different sets of cutlery, I realised – we don’t NEED five different sets of cutlery. I can have just one set.

However, now that I have done the de-clutter and set up shop, it’s now a question of deciding any time I am online or at the shops,  do I really NEED this? or do I WANT this?  Just actively asking this question, means that all swinging considered I have actually lived this balanced ideology in one area of my life. I buy clothes, shoes, groceries and limited things based on need, not want.

Back to the pendulum metaphor… If I maxed out my credit card spending money on things that I wanted, would it be considered moderation if I just fasted from spending until I paid it back? No. It would be Kermit in full swing about to decent into a wallow of regret. Fasting would actually be because you are broke!

Image result for the effects of consumerism on debt
Get it, girl! Get. It!

Sure swinging from good to bad can ensure that I get the best of both worlds, but to what and whose cost? The people I love, my health, my sanity? I can hear my guardian angel facepalming, sighing… ‘Only now you understand why you are so attracted to minimalism? Really!’. Well God knows I learn slowly and painfully.

So here comes the lesson; I can stop trying to counteract my deadly sins and live life true to moderation;

  1. Fight fairly
  2. Eat a balanced meal
  3. Be slow to react and quick to breathe deeply
  4. Go it old skool and watch an episode a week of a Netflix series
  5. Learn more about the theology of the body
  6. Practice gratitude daily
  7. Budget so that I can give generously and lovingly

I say this fully knowing that indulgence once in a while is not bad, we are called to love the good things in life. After all, there is a reason why Oscar Wilde said ‘everything in moderation, including moderation.’

However, we are always a ‘work in progress’ (my favourite sentiment from Fr Brian Fitzpatrick, OSA). So progress to good, progress to moderation and progress to holiness! Because holiness is possible for each and every one of us, not only for the churchgoers or our grandmothers but for us the ordinary just getting through life, called to be extraordinary through holiness and living a good healthy and balanced life in moderation.

Peace & Blessings 

Image Credits:

  • Cute, huh; courtesy of ultrarunningltd.com
  • Kermit’s got the idea!; courtesy of the official page of ‘Welcome to the internet’
  • Get it, girl! Get. It!; courtesy of emaze.com (Socialism, Consumerism and Media Control)

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