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Want Less

August 12, 2012

It’s so hard, isn’t it? To want less. To be in that frame of mind where your addictions don’t hound you to replenish. Again. To be where society doesn’t call you for your dollar-the one you don’t have, so that you can feel temporarily productive…or better. To have only the real people in your lives-the ones that count. To be in a place where all you need is you, and the simple version at that.

This isn’t about not having a family, not getting married, etc. It is about really loving who you are, and being o.k. just chilling with yourself without needing anything else added to that equation. When I meet people that are real minimalists, and we are talking maybe 4 in my entire life, I wonder how they got to that place? Even people who meditate, or do yoga….most of them are doing that to try to get to that zone of self-sufficient, independent-of-shit-happiness. Or, maybe they are just trying to marry their bodies with their minds; either way, in my mind, they are trying to capture that chapter on self, without any of the distractions, and less of the inner voice of desire.

Let’s be clear here: I desire on a daily basis. Some days are better than others and I think that I’m for sure one of the most frugal people I know when it comes to shopping, but still, I want. Every now and then, I manage to want less successfully and when I get to that zone, it is glorious….it becomes another addiction!

Another insert I should add would be that yes, religion could be the answer to all of our desires, right? Isn’t that what they teach you in church? It is still people in search of a “WANT LESS” lifestyle. For some, it works, and for others, it is just another form of prescription drug that society prescribes, and that some of us take. Unsuccessfully. Some people argue that if you find a spiritual way of life or a religious practice, which aren’t the same of course, then you will have less desire. Maybe that’s true, but I’d still say that those types are hard to find as well.

A couple of months ago, I went on a solo hike, and where I parked, there was this pricey car with a bumper sticker that said, “WANT LESS”. At first, I thought what bullshit; that person or family has loads of money and they are preaching a phrase that totally contradicts their lifestyle. Whatever. But then, I went hiking and I couldn’t stop thinking about that bumper sticker and it wasn’t that it was such a startling new concept for me, but that it nagged at me. I’ve always loved examining bumper stickers- I’m known to fixate on them; hence, this writing. During my entire hike, I was thinking about that phrase because that is what a lot of us strive for in life. Job well done with that $5.00 bumper sticker purchase, whoever you are. I suppose on that particular day, I was feeling full of want, and getting nowhere with it really; it was one of those days where I wasn’t paying attention to myself in a way that was honorable. I just wanted to have all of these other things distracting me from me; I made myself go on that hike, with myself, and of course, it was brilliant, but it was a fight to the bitter end.

The other side of my thinking went something like this: I don’t believe that all humans walking the planet strive to find that zone; in fact, the older I get, the more I am realizing that many humans are doing a fantastic job of running from it. I also believe that for the most part, it isn’t always their fault. If you look at the condition of the family unit these days, and combine that with the economy, stress, nutritional hazards, and simple statistics, it’s no wonder. It’s fabulous that most of us choose to get out of bed on a daily basis. Still, that doesn’t make me want to hang out with them. I’ve heard from the excusers, the bullshiters, the lazy ones, the lonely ones, the poor ones, the rich ones, the depressed ones, the angry ones, the deprived ones as well as myself. Who doesn’t have a chapter in their lives that doesn’t have those labels for titles?

A lot of people are walking around thinking this bumper sticker: “WANT MORE”.  Of course, it’s easier. It’s easier to avoid the true meats of our beings, but isn’t that boring? Where’s the challenge in always wanting and wanting and getting and getting? The fuel that fills up our more isn’t really meaningful, it isn’t full of positive emotions, hence the need for more and more. The people that actually want and get all of the time are not the people that I want to hang around; I have yet to find one of those types that is connected to themselves in a way that I can respect. When I run into robots who are just rats on a wheel, full of consuming, and lacking a true ear to one’s soul, it feels like mediocrity is winning. Cycle repetition number 5,000,000……..

This is also true: I fear that many of us in our private nests, behind closed doors, are losing the battle. And sometimes, we might even be o.k. with that because wanting less is so hard, isn’t it?

Even though it’s a contradiction in itself, I went and bought that bumper sticker. I put it on my fridge just under the water machine so that I will look at it everyday. Sometimes, I’ll lose and sometimes, I’ll win, but it is about accepting that battle, and getting out of it-making who I am slightly better so that tomorrow, it is better. Either way, I’m thinking about it. Maybe that family that has that pricey car with the sticker on it isn’t preaching how they live on all topics, but I know that they are also thinking about it, which means that they are probably trying. And now, maybe you are thinking about it more than you were ten minutes ago. That is good enough for me.

Mother Earth will thank us all.

From → Self

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