Set to Auto-Crave

I recently watched “Minimalism: A Document on Important Things” on Netflix. And I found it kind of interesting as the narrators were basically stating we are programmed to be consumers from birth. In a sense the narrators were correct as I can trace as far back as a child anticipating the large “Toys R Us” catalog book around Christmas.

Or tuning into my favorite show on Nickelodeon and harassing my mom to purchase this must have item I saw on the commercials.

Of course as children we are not the actual consumers but it still plants the initial seed that tie happiness to owning things.  Nowadays success is connected to the number of cars we have or the brand of clothes we own, instead of measuring happiness and experiences.  We as a society are competing with the next person to have the most stuff.

While watching this documentary the word auto-crave was spoken. I was so impressed with this word as it sums up our desire to want everything plus the kitchen sink.

I remember when I watched the show hoarders and I would feel bad for the people and I patted myself on the back for not holding on to things unnecessarily.  After watching this documentary, I felt like I was a step behind them because at least they were aware of this issue as I lived in denial land.  And maybe I did not have so much stuff to the extreme of an intervention but Lord knows I still probably needed some type of intervening when I still have every letter sent to me in life or every Birthday card I’ve received since high school.  I still have ticket stubs and a million articles of clothes I cannot fit.  The reality is if I could fit some of those clothes I still don’t think that I would wear them.

Being a crafter does not help as you can make anything out of anything as long as you have Pinterest. Just stuff on top of stuff.

Honestly, I did not even notice this clitter until I was packing to move.  My husband and I ended up giving over half of an apartment away as it was just that much stuff.  In an attempt to downsize even more I opened a Poshmark and Let Go account.  Yet my offers were rock solid and I refused negotiations because secretly I’m attached to this stuff.  Behaviors similar to mines, fit into this auto-crave category as one is never satisfied with the stuff they already have and are always on the hunt of acquiring more.

I’m wondering what causes this attachment to stuff?  Is it psychological as some people define themselves with the number of things they have?  Does this stuff help fill a void?  Or does it help a person not feel devoid?  Could the amount of stuff make up for not having much as child?  Does this stuff serve as evidence of your accomplishments?  Could it be the stuff is connected to memories past or what could have been?  Do these things serve as personal validation?

These are the questions I have surrounding this auto-crave epidemic.  I’m almost certain material things are weighed more than intangible things.  Peace has been exchanged by Jordan sneakers as meditation has been swapped with a flat screen television.  Now I am not saying having these things are wrong, but maybe having an over-abundance of anything can be labeled as toxic.

Here a quick diagram for deciding if an item is needed or unnecessary.

Abundance of things now equates to an abundant life.  Even while writing this I don’t have any answers as my online shopping is on auto pilot.  And my mind is fixated on the next Hobby Lobby and Michael’s craft sale and where I am going to house these items.

Just lying down and accepting this makes me a partaker in the problem and not in the solution.  So I made the conscious effort to shut off my auto- crave and not buy anymore crafts until I made as much as I can with what I have unless I get a custom order (custom order? you may be thinking…it would be for R.Q. Uniquely, remember?) Wish me Luck!

This will be my first chapter to becoming a minimalist.  Because let’s face it, I have to start somewhere.  Stay tuned for the follow up on this challenge in a future post when I have decided I’m ready for the second chapter. And I encourage you to join me on this journey and share your experience with me.

So tell me, What are your thoughts on minimalism?  And have you made attempts to get rid of any excess stuff, recently?  If so, please share your experience in the comments section or on the Be Your Own Kind Facebook page.

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