Deep Minimalism

Rid Your Identity of Dusty Boxes and Live Now

Minimalism is about intentionally living with less to enjoy the essential and significant.

I rather like it.

But we’d do well to swallow the minimalism pill and let it go a bit deeper.

We need a minimalism of the identity — that deepest, hard to fathom, place that our lives are built upon.

It’s the you, the real you.

The thing is…

Our identities are cluttered with old boxes and dusty piles of stuff.

If you clean your house but your basement is full of black mold, does it really matter?

This clutter is felt no more strongly than in our unhealthy attachment to ideals.

This kind of attachment is called, enmeshment.

Enmeshment is a description of a relationship between two or more people in which personal boundaries are permeable and unclear. This often happens on an emotional level in which two people “feel” each other’s emotions, or when one person becomes emotionally escalated and the other family member does as well. [1]

Becoming enmeshed with an ideal might be the worst kind of enmeshment because it’s hard to recognize and solve. It’s often quiet, personal, and acceptable, and it lives in the basement of our identity.

When you can’t separate yourself from the need to be in a different place, a different situation, a different community, a different job — you are probably enmeshed to an ideal.

You know…

The grass is always greener on the other side.

The problem is that we have all believed this, we’ve all really felt it, and it seems true in the moment.

We begin to judge the real things around us against our ideal. And the ideal always wins.

But the ideals are just clutter.

Obsessing over ideals will not make your life better.

It’s not that you can’t ever make a change in life. Maybe you need to. Even if it won’t solve your identity clutter problem, taking action and making a change is better than obsessing over ideals.

You see, the ideal is an ideal. It does not really exist.

The change that will have the most effect will be giving up the ideal and embracing the present, embracing the people around you, embracing reality.

When you do this, reality might become something different, maybe something better, than what your ideal was in the first place.

Maybe you will come to see your present for the significant thing that it is…

Got a bunch of stuff in your basement?

Get rid of it.


This is my daily project where I write about diverse ideas.

This is Dose #27.

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