Since before tiny homes were even a thing, Beej and I have talked about living in one. We agree on simplicity and always taking that to the next level. An ex perfectionist and claustrophobic, I consistently pared down over the years. Cleaning out my closet regularly and never keeping a big surplus of any item. Basically, everything in our home is used and loved. Even though we are not moving into a tiny home just yet, we need to start preparing now.
Over the past few months, I’ve been giving away, donating and selling beautiful furniture and decor that I meticulously hand picked over the years. Things that I love but we simply don’t need. As MB often reminds me, “you’d be surprised at how little you truly need”. This concept has been in the forefront of my mind as I tidy up our life. What I have learned is that even though my mindset is aligned with simplicity, I am feeling pain when I have to let go of something. I can easily trace this pain back to my attachment to these material things. I never would have imagined it. I thought I had transcended this kind of petty attachment. I was wrong.
The other day when I pushed aside a major piece of furniture to be sold for cheap on the local sell and swap, I felt a deep ache in my chest. It was the same painful ache that I felt when I first saw this piece in the Pottery Barn catalog. It was the ache of attachment. Over the years, I have filled our home with high end furnishings, beautiful art work and personal photos telling the stories of our life. I’ve helped to set a coherent experience for our senses where our identities could rest easy. It’s as if I’ve invested my happiness in these material things and now I’m feeling that pain of loss as I detach from them.
A few months ago, I was standing in my living room looking around at all of the things that make up our home. Instead of feeling pride for creating a picture perfect home, as I have in the past, I felt the immense weight of it all. I thought, “if everything is energy, then all of this furniture is just dense energy”. This felt like a huge anchor keeping us stalled as we are now instead of moving towards where we want to go. In that moment it became clear that we need to move to the next level of simplicity. Letting go of nice but not necessary things is a requirement and I see now that it will come with a good dose of pain.
We may think we are not attached but that is because the full effects of attachment are not felt until letting go comes into play. It’s as if it lies dormant, a sleeping tiger until the moment of moving on, then an enormous load of energy is unleashed. In these moments of discomfort it is easy to go off course, to remain stalled in time due to an unwillingness to feel the discomfort of letting go. What I’ve seen in my own experience lately is that if I can remain steadfast during the moments of discomfort, I will stay on track and the ache will pass. Honestly, as things have been leaving our house my attachment to them disappears immediately as the lightness of their absence seems to outweigh everything.
I’m not a fan of going 0-100 nor am I against fine furnishings. It’s about taking the next logical step and watching any feelings of attachment that can halt forward motion. It’s about having the courage to remain steady during the times of detachment and be patient enough to get to the other side.