Adopting minimalism. Start small. End big.

Minimalism is the in thing now, right? Clear your closets, clear your garage, clear your kitchen cabinets! The tips and tricks of this most weird art and skill are freely available. Even people who come to our place for a dinner recommend all sorts of cleaning exercises. A woman I met on the street while my kids were biking recommended that I should get rid of one bike to make some room available in my garage. Many of my friends casually recommend getting rid of this bag or that scarf, all in the name of making more space available and living a clutter-free life.

As amazing as a minimalist lifestyle is and humans who watch Netflix and a certain show have been quick to adopt it and even might be at the stage where they can fold themselves up to fit into a drawer with the rest of their family, the emotional decluttering that we need to learn and do is still pending.

But that’s not what we are even thinking about. We are worried that an extra pair of shoes that we haven’t worn in two years is occupying some dear and valuable real estate in our home. But we are not the least bit worried about a particularly toxic relationship that we choose to be a part of everyday.

We are constantly sizing up our living room to see what else could be removed to make it look less busy. But why aren’t we worried that we still haven’t told a certain person that their criticism of our parenting and lifestyle is totally not welcome?

We have so much in our kitchen that disgusts us. If recycling aluminum and nonstick kitchenware was easy we would’ve thrown it all out ages ago. But why can’t we make sure that we tell our significant other to stop acting like our parent?

Trust me, I used to think that some emotional toxicity is part of life. That it’s almost necessary and may even be my test from Allah. As I started to become okay with it, I thought I found some peace in the acceptance of it. But then the next thing came. Because toxicity is all about making us feel crummy, when it doesn’t make us feel like that, it multiplies and tries to achieve that effect.

So here’s what I think is the most important application of all the decluttering that we’ve been learning. Really take the trash out. Cut out the negativity. Remove the toxicity. Let yourself breathe. Make room for emotions that please you. If an emotion doesn’t give you pleasure, it’s not worth keeping in our mind and soul.


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